2012 John Feirich - 4th PlaceJohn Feirich
Spokane, Washington

“I realized I wasn’t as stable and comfortable with a lot of physical activities as I used to be, and though I had not sustained a serious fall, my wife thought I was getting clumsy and was worried about my balance,” John Feirich says. “My biggest fear was of falling and sustaining a severe injury. I’ve watched a lot of older people having trouble getting around, and I didn’t want to be in that situation.”

A flyer arrived in his mailbox from Touchmark on South Hill, in Spokane, Washington, promoting an upcoming session of FallProof™ Balance and Mobility Training. The program taught by Lori McCormick, PT who is a certified FallProof Balance and Mobility specialist, includes pre and post-balance assessments and gives participants the opportunity to work with activities and exercises that challenge the systems that coordinate balance. John wasted no time in enrolling for the course.

“I was in favor of taking the class and improving my balance,” he says. “As you get older you don’t want to break your hip and be on your way to the mortuary.”

John took the class in spring of 2011 and immediately realized the benefits of the course. “I learned there are certain things you can do—activities you can engage in—to improve your basic sense of balance.” He found his balance improving and learned how to recover from circumstances one would encounter at the beginning of a fall. “It was particularly helpful to learn how the muscles and brain react.”

John’s wife, Kay, was also impressed by the training. “It helped him a lot!” she says. “We do almost everything together, so I went to the classes with him and helped spot some of the other participants.”

John experienced the benefits of the class as he and Kay prepared to move into their new home, just a few months after completing the course. “The greatest evidence of the class’s worth to me came when we started to move to Grapetree…it was wonderful how much more balanced I was in hauling stuff up and down the stairs of our previous home.”

For Kay, the true value of the class is in how John’s improved balance enhances their quality of life. “We went out on New Year’s Eve dancing and jitterbugging until 1 a.m.! We have a lot of fun!”

Submitted by Marge Coalman, EdD, Vice President of Wellness & Programs, Touchmark.