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Flash Mob
Director Park






2013 Falls Prevention Awareness Event

Director Park Event September 17, 2013
This event was made possible through a partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation



Why are we here:

  • To raise awareness of the importance of preventing falls among seniors, and to celebrate next week's Falls Prevention Day in Oregon. Gov. John Kitzhaber has proclaimed Sept. 22, 2013 -- the first day of fall 2013 -- to be Falls Prevention Awareness Day.
  • The flash mob is intended to bring attention to falls, which are largely a preventable community health problem with proven interventions that can reduce falls and help older adults live better and longer.
  • The Oregon Health Authority, through the Injury & Violence Prevention Program at the Public Health Division, is working with healthy aging partners around the state to increase awareness of this issue and promote fall prevention strategies, such as evidence-based exercise programs, medication management, regular health and vision check-ups, and home safety assessments.


The problem of falls:

  • An estimated one-third of all seniors older than 65, and half of those older than 80, will fall each year.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury, injury-related death, and hospital admissions for trauma among older adults.
  • Nearly 60% of seniors in Oregon who are hospitalized for falls never go home; they are discharged into long-term care.


Why Tai Chi?

  • Research has shown that older adults who regularly practice tai chi are less likely to fall and are less fearful about falling.
  • The health benefits of Tai Chi include:
    • Improved physical health that leads to better functioning in daily activities.
    • Improved balance, muscle strength, flexibility and mobility.
    • Better mental health, such as improved symptoms of depression and anxiety, increased self-esteem and less social isolation.
    • Lower blood pressure in those with hypertension.
    • Improved symptoms of Parkinson's disease, arthritis, and many other health conditions.


Tai Chi Leaders For This Event:

  • James Lusk has been teaching Tai Chi and Qigong classes in the tri-county area of Portland for 8 years. Over the years he became increasingly interested in working with older adults who have movement disabilities and balance/gait impairments. He is a certified instructor by the Oregon Research Institute (ORI) to teach the evidence-based Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance program aimed at improving balance and strength, and reducing the risk of falls in the elderly population. He is also a Master Tai Chi Teacher for the Oregon Health Authority’s Senior Falls Prevention program and a Certified Professional Senior Fitness Instructor through the American Senior Fitness Association.
  • Jim Dalton has been practicing and teaching Tai Chi for over ten years in the Yang tradition. Three years ago he began teaching a simplified short form designed for better balance and general health maintenance. Since that time he has offered the Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance program at numerous senior centers in the area. Presented in a meditative space, these movements deepen bodily awareness, heighten the sense of balance, relieve stress and sharpen the mind. He is also a Master Tai Chi Teacher for the Oregon Health Authority’s Senior Falls Prevention program. For more information visit his Mindfulness Training and Practice website.


Tai Chi Participants Included:

  • Karen Johnson offering Tai Chi for Better Balance opportunities in Salem, Oregon at The Center 50+ Senior Center on Portland Rd. N. Call to sign up or get additional information: 503.588.6303. Join them for Tuesday and Thursday classes
    • Tai Chi 1, Beginning & refresher 12:00 to 1:00 pm
    • Tai Chi 1, Skill Development 1:00 to 2:00 pm
  • John Mckinney has taught and practiced several Yang style tai chi forms since 1985 including both solo and two person forms. As a teacher, he has developed his own style of sharing this profound, practical art. His focus is on creating a welcoming space that is learner-centered and results oriented while remembering that the unique needs of the individual student are job #1. Visit his website for more information.
  • Karin LaBriere has been teaching Tai Chi and Qigong for over 20 years through the Mature Learning fitness program at Clark College in Vancouver. Her students praise her depth of understanding, inspiration and expert teaching. In turn, they report their own increased balance, overall health and confident well-being as a result of the classes. To join this fun and supportive community, see the registration information or or contact Karin at


Video links

  • Will be posted soon...

Contact Information: