S.A.I.L. – Stay Active & Independent for Life
A strength and balance fitness class for adults 65+
SAIL is an evidence-based program designed to prevent falls and includes exercise classes, educational materials and self-assessments. The classes are designed specifically for older adults and focus on strength, balance, flexibility and aerobics. The Knox County Health Department is proud to offer instructor training and support to maintain the SAIL program locally. For more information on SAIL instructor training, please contact KCHD health educator Rachel Frazier at 865-215-5175 or Rachel.Frazier@knoxcounty.org.
It works…you’ll be stronger, have better balance and will feel better. SAIL will help you stay independent, active and prevent falls.
It’s safe…the instructors are experienced and skilled, and exercises have been tested with seniors.
It’s fun…you’ll meet other seniors and make new friends.
When and where are classes?
Please call for specific dates and times of classes. A small fee may be associated with the SAIL classes.
Carter Senior Center – 865-932-2939
Instructor: Terri Geiser
West Knox County Senior Center – 865-288-7805
Instructor: Rachel Piotrowski
John T. O’Connor Senior Center – 865-523-1135
Instructor: Kay White
Karns Senior Center – 865-951-2653
Instructor: Debbie Harris
Deane Hill Recreation Center – 865-690-0781
Leader: Kat Eldridge
For those in need of S.A.I.L classes outside of Knox County, please visit the TN Department of Health S.A.I.L Program page.
Why focus on fall prevention?
How big is the problem?
One out of three adults over 65 falls each year, but less than half talk to their health care providers about it. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. In 2013, 2.5 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 734,000 of these patients were hospitalized. That same year, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, were $34 billion.
How can older adults prevent falls?
- Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
- Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter) to identify medications that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
- Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
- Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes.
What can older adults do to lower their hip fracture risk?
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.
- Do weight bearing exercise.
- Get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.
SAIL testimonials from Halls Senior Center
- Joan – “Class is great! I am looking forward to improving my coordination. I have already improved my mental attitude.”
- Danny – “I was going to get out of the recliner and my shoe stuck to the carpet and I would have fallen except for the fact that the SAIL class has helped me with balance.”
- Evelyn – “I have arthritis and osteoporosis and scoliosis, so I have been exercising to help strengthen my bones and muscles and also heart and lungs. It helps everything – brain too!”
- Sue – “I have asthma and was unable to stand up and do exercised with the class. Now I can keep up with everyone else without breathing hard.”
- Bernice – “My sister is 85. She called me and said would you like to go to the SAIL program? She now goes to the one closer at Carter senior center.”
- Susan – “I have built strength and muscle tone and improved my balance very much over the past 6 months since SAIL program started. I enjoy and look forward to exercise now and hate it when I have to miss. Keep it going!”
- Frances – “I was losing my balance and was afraid of falling. I learned about the SAIL class and started attending. My balance has improved; my strength and muscles have also been helped. I thoroughly enjoy the class with Johnnie and always look forward to it!”