Stepping Up: Exercise Program

The focus is on fitness and fun and includes group movement to music and exercises from the Otago Exercise Program, a program that has been shown to reduce fall risk in adults. The activities in Stepping Up are designed to improve flexibility, strength, endurance and balance and are customized to each participant’s specific needs and abilities. Stepping Up is offered once each fall and spring. 

Participation: Persons with memory loss are referred to Stepping Up through the SIU Medicine Memory & Aging Clinic. Criteria to participate in Stepping Up:

  1. Must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other memory loss disorders.
  2. A spouse or other care-partner who does not have memory problems must participate along with the person with memory loss.
  3. Both persons must be able to walk on their own, even if they use a cane or other device.
  4. Both persons must live in their own home or in supported living. (Those living in assisted living or nursing homes are excluded by the requirements of the grant funding).
  5. Both persons must commit to attending the vast majority of classes (once a week, see below) as well as to doing the home exercise routines together (twice a week).
  6. Both persons must commit to an initial assessment appointment.
  7. Both persons must be clear of health issues that may preclude involvement; have approval from their primary care doctor to participate.
  8. Both persons must complete enrollment/assessment forms.

Funding: There is no cost to participate. Funding is provided by SIU Medicine to provide intervention programs to help persons with memory loss live in their own homes for as long as possible.