RESEDA, Calif., June 16 The famed nonprofit Los AngelesJewish Home announced today the implementation of a fall prevention andfitness program designed to address one of the major health challenges facedby seniors. The program is funded by the Jewish Community Foundation, thelargest manager of charitable assets for Jewish philanthropists in greater LosAngeles.
The new fall prevention and fitness program becomes part of the care theHome provides to all its residents and includes fall risk assessments,environmental assessments, a comprehensive fitness program and individualizedcare plans. "This program follows the Jewish Home's philosophy of providing a'holistic' approach to healthcare," said Molly Forrest, president and chiefexecutive officer. "It's part of our desire to take care of the whole personwith an awareness of the body, mind and spirit. All of these are essential togood health and well-being."
Falls are a serious public health problem among older adults and are theleading cause of injury for people 65 or older. More than one-third of adultsaged 65 years or older fall each year, and older adults are hospitalized forfall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries fromother causes. Of those who fall, 20 percent to 30 percent suffer moderate tosevere injuries that reduce mobility and independence.
As a way to minimize the risk of falling, the Home's new fitness programfocuses on weight training, balance, posture and safety techniques. Theprogram also incorporates nutritional guidance, emotional support,motivational and self-esteem encouragement, and breathing techniques.
Group classes in movement and exercise are conducted daily, withindividualized activities and attention. The final component to the holisticexercise program is weight loss. Overweight issues impact the joints, kneesand back and therefore negatively affect stability and balance. The programwas instituted following an initial study at the Home in which participantsshowed dramatic improvement in their fall risk scores.
This past March, as part of the Home's efforts to promote health andfitness for residents and staff, the Jewish Home sponsored a health andfitness day on the Grancell Village campus. Activities throughout the day weregeared toward health, fitness and sports. Meals promoted healthy choices andpositive nutrition. The fitness instructor discussed all group and individualoptions at the fitness center and residents participated in a morning T'ai Chiclass along with Jewish Home employees.
Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation is the largestmanager of charitable assets and the leader in planned giving solutions forgreater Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. The Foundation currently managesassets of more than $790 million and ranks among the ten largest Los Angelesfoundations (based on assets). In 2007, the Foundation and its 1,200-plusdonors distributed $77 million in grants to more than 1,700 organizations withprograms that span the range of philanthropic giving.
Founded in 1912, the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is one of theforemost multi-level senior-living communities in the United States and thelargest single-source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles. In total, theHome annually serves more than 1,700 seniors through our extraordinarycontinuum of services. Each year, more than 1,200 women and men are cared forin-residence on two village campuses, with services including independent-living "Neighborhood Home" accommodations, residential care, skilled nursingcare, behavioral health care, Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. Another500 seniors are served through the Home's community-based programs, whichinclude Skirball Hospice and community clinics. The Home is a nonprofitorganization that relies upon donations from individuals, corporations andfoundations to continue its rema