Heritage Senior Living is working to reduce the risk of falls among its residents with a unique new therapy solution – a walking course mat that was developed in France and has not yet been used in Wisconsin. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, falls are the number one cause of injury and death among older Americans, with more than 29 million falls resulting in three million emergency room visits and 28,000 deaths each year. With more than 2,000 seniors living in its 15 communities throughout Wisconsin, Heritage recognizes the significant risk that falls pose to its older adult population and is doing its part to help improve quality of life for its residents with innovative solutions like the therapy mat.
Wisconsin’s first walking course mat was recently installed at Heritage Senior Living’s Monona location, which offers 143 independent living, assisted living, enhanced assisted living and memory care residences. The 16-foot-long mat encompasses a variety of gait and balance exercises, such as color-coded stepping areas to test the patient’s gait levels and uneven surfaces to improve balance, as well as therapeutic obstacles, like stations where the patient has to bend down and pick up items.