Community Resources – What Program is Right for Me?

Select a risk level for falls

Physical Therapy

Stepping On™

Tai Chi Fundamentals™
Moving For Better Balance
Balancing Act
Living Falls Free

Tai Chi (Traditional)
Standing Strength & Balance Classes
Dance, Bowling, Golf, Ping Pong, Badminton

High Falls Risk Classes & Therapies

Referral to Physical Therapy

You may want to consider referring your patient to a physical therapist, preferably one with special training on older adult falls. Many physical therapists are trained to find out why your patient is falling, and help them with recovery solutions, such as strength and balance exercises to help reduce the chance of falling again.  Two physical therapy programs than have been shown to reduce falls among older adults are the Otago Falls Prevention Program (developed in New Zealand) and Sure Step. If you refer your patients to physical therapy, it is possible that the therapist may be using similar programs.

For clinicians – research on Otago from CDC

The UNC School of Medicine is offering an online training in the Otago Exercise Program: Online Training. This training is not available anywhere else and is accredited by Greensboro Area Health Education Center, NC and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy through the ProCert Program. Receive 3 CEUs for only $25!

“Otago” is one of only three evidence-based falls prevention programs being promoted across 18 states as part of major federal funding initiatives through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Administration for Community Living, and The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, is proud to sponsor this course written by APTA members. PTs can call  919-843-6675 or register online.

Medium Falls Risk Classes & Therapies

Stepping On™

Stepping On is an evidence-based workshop meeting once per week for seven weeks, two hours per week, with a reunion class three months later. The class is led by trained leaders who work with you and your classmates to help improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling by reviewing medications, exploring the role of vision and falls, teaching strength and balance exercises, and offering help to improve your safety at home. Members of the class support each other’s efforts to take action to prevent falls. Older adults who may have balance problems or fear of falling are the best fit for this class. According to studies, people who complete Stepping On classes see a 31% reduction in falls. A Stepping On workshop costs $35 for the seven week session and includes the reunion class.

Click here for an 8-minute video produced by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Focus onHealth TV. This video introduces Stepping On to potential participants, sponsors, partners and guest experts.

*Please advise patients to add an additional 15-30 minutes to the first Stepping On class to complete paperwork (surveys and data collection).

For clinicians – research on Stepping On from CDC

Available Classes:

Meadowridge Commons – WORKSHOP FULL!

5734 Raymond Rd., Madison
Thursdays, September 12 – October 24; 1:15pm – 3:15pm

To register, call Michelle at 608-512-0000 x4008 or e-mail

Verona Senior Center

108 Paoli St., Verona

Mondays, September 16 – October 28; 1:00pm – 3:00pm

To register, call the Verona Senior Center at 608-845-7471

Village of Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation

210 Progress Dr. Suite 2, Cottage Grove

Tuesdays, September 17 – October 29; 1:00pm – 3:00pm

To register, Contact Brooke Friess at Cottage Grove Parks and Rec at 608-839-8968 or

Stoughton Senior Center

248 W. Main St., #1, Stoughton

Fridays, September 27 – November 8, 2:15pm – 4:15pm

To register, call the Stoughton Senior Center at (608) 873-8585

NewBridge Madison, Inc. (formerly the North/Eastside Senior Coalition)

1625 Northport Dr., Madison

Wednesdays, October 2 – November 13, 9:00am – 11:00am

To register, Contact Ruth at 608-266-6581 x3012 or email

UW Health at the American Center

4602 Eastpark Blvd, Madison

Thursdays, October 3 – November 14

To register, call (608) 890-5651

Waunakee Senior Center

333 S. Madison St., Waunakee

Thursdays, October 3 – November 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

To register, Contact the Waunakee Senior Center at 608-849-8385

UnityPoint Health Meriter Monona Clinic

6408 Copps Ave., Monona

Thursdays, October 10 – November 21, 10:00am – 12:00pm (first session goes until 12:30pm for paperwork)

To register, contact Krista Spiro at or 608-417-8272

Tai Chi Fundamentals™

Available Classes:

Tai Chi Center of Madison:
301 S. Bedford St., Madison
Schedules online at or call 608-663-8299
Classes, times and dates vary. Contact Tai Chi Center of Madison for details.


Goodman Community Center: Gentle Exercise & Tai Chi
Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m.
149 Waubesa St., Madison
Cost: Suggested $1 donation
No registration needed.


Goodman Community Center: Tai Chi Fundamental Form
Wednesdays, 1-2 p.m.
149 Waubesa St., Madison
Cost: Suggested $1 donation.
No registration needed.

For more information, contact Sara Watts, certified Range of Motion Dance Instructor, at 608-244-9424.

Class description: Gentle Exercise & Tai Chi. This gentle mind/body exercise and relaxation program is designed especially for people with arthritis, joint pain, or any kind of stiffness that limits movement. These range-of-motion exercises are recommended by doctors and therapists to help keep joints flexible and can be practiced both sitting and standing.


Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR): Tai Chi-Yang Style
For more information, call 608-204-3000 or visit
Class focuses on 24 forms of Yang style sequence with variations in movements and breathing. For beginners or those familiar with the form.


Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR): Tai Chi For Balance
For more information, call 608-204-3000 or visit
Instruction in a Yang style Tai Chi form for cultivation of physical and emotional balance, strength, flexibility and body-mind integration.

Medium Low Falls Risk Classes & Therapies

Moving For Better Balance

Moving for Better Balance is a falls prevention program that uses the principles and movements of Tai Chi to help older adults improve their balance and increase their confidence in doing everyday activities. If offered, the class meets twice per week for 12 weeks, and is part of a national program offered through the YMCA. Y members: $150; non-members: $300.

For clinicians – research on Moving for Better Balance from CDC




NoFalls is a 15-week course lead by a trained fitness instructor. The class focuses on balance, and is designed for people who may have some balance problems. It is taught by a trained fitness instructor. Dane County is one of only a few places in the United States that offer this class, which was developed in Australia. According to studies, people who complete the NoFalls class and who also add a home safety review and a vision check, are 30% less likely to have a serious fall. NoFalls course costs $35 for the 15-week session.

For clinicians – research on NoFalls from CDC

Available Classes:
Additional class information will be available soon. Check back for details!


Living Falls Free

Living Falls Free is a practical falls risk reduction exercise class. Course content includes learning the exercises of the as well as learning falls reduction strategies specific for your life. Class includes a take-home exercise program and pre/post performance testing. This is a moderate level class with walking, rocker boards, strength work and exercise at standing, chair and floor level. Gait dynamics and movement technique are emphasized.

Available Classes:

Living Falls Free
September 18 – December 4, 2019
Wednesdays, 10:45am – 11:45am
UW Health Sports Medicine Center
621 Science Dr., Madison
263-7936 to register or visit
For Class Flyer, Click Here!


Balancing Act

This program is designed to increase balance and decrease the risk of falling by using tai chi movements and principles. Standing and chair-based exercises are adapted to individual needs. Classes are held at Madison School & Community Recreation locations. Instructor: Jody Curley. Visit the MSCR website for more details.

Available Classes:

Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR)
MSCR offers multiple classes which can improve balance and help prevent falls. The “B” (for balance) symbol identifies exercise classes that help prevent falls in older adults. The “B” classes incorporate both balance and strength training. Scientific literature has shown balance training to be the best exercise for fall prevention.
For the full Winter/Spring 2018 MSCR Program Guide, please click here 

Low Falls Risk Classes & Therapies

Balancing and Strength Exercises

Research shows that to reduce chances of falling, people must include balance and strength exercises that are progressive (get more challenging over time), and that are practiced for at least 50 hours over 15 weeks. Anyone interested in preventing falls should add these activities to their daily and weekly routine. And it’s important to keep going – any improvements to balance can be lost quickly if we don’t keep it up. And keep walking, swimming, stretching – or moving any way you like – it’s worth it!

For clinicians – research on use of Yaktrax as a falls prevention measure



Tai Chi Classes

Available Classes:
Additional class information will be available soon. Check back for details!



Ballroom Basics for BALANCE™

Challenge your balance and make it better with basic moves of ballroom dance!  Research shows that dance is one way to improve balance and reduce falls. This class is for you if:

  • You want to get better at walking or moving around on various surfaces, both inside and outside (like carpets, grass, and snowy walkways).
  • You have had at least one fall in the past year or have a fear of falling.
  • You are able to participate in medium-difficult activity without major health symptoms (like chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness).
  • You are able to move about on your own with or without a device to help you.
  • You can hear and see well enough to participate in a group class.
  • You are interested in having fun!

You will learn basic movements of traditional smooth and Latin style ballroom dances with and without music; you can practice on your own or with a partner in this group class.  We will learn to dance while learning about improving balance.  No experience or partner needed! Taught by physical therapists and other health care professionals.

Available Classes:

Madison Central Library, 3rd Floor
March 1 – May 17, 2019
Fridays, 10:00am – 11:30am
$70 for 12 week class
Need help paying? Dane County TimeBank hours are accepted for this class. Scholarships are also available through the Madison Senior Center. Contact them for details.
To register, call the Madison Senior Center at 608-266-6581.
Be sure to note if you would like scholarship assistance or to pay with TimeBank hours.

Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR) – East
April 4 – May 23, 2019
Thursdays, 1:30pm – 2:45pm
$34 for this 8-week class
Need help paying? Scholarships are also available through MSCR. Contact them for details at 608-204-3000 and to register. Also register through

Monona Senior Center
April 5 – May 24, 2019
Fridays, 10:00am – 11:15am
$30 for this 8-week class
To register, call the Monona Senior Center at 608-222-3415 or register in person.

Madison Central Library, 3rd Floor
September 13 – December 13, 2019
Fridays, 10:00am – 11:30am
$65 for 11 week class
Need help paying? Dane County TimeBank hours are accepted for this class. Scholarships are also available through the Madison Senior Center. Contact them for details at 608-266-6581.
To register, call the Madison Senior Center at 608-266-6581.
Be sure to note if you would like scholarship assistance or to pay with TimeBank hours.



Stepping Classes

Madison Smooth Steppers Class
Every Saturday: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: 2222 S. Park St., Madison
(Urban League )
Cost: Donations Accepted
Instructors: Judy Young and Roy Jones

For more information, check out the Madison Smooth Steppers on Facebook!
(Note: this class is not affiliated with Ballroom Basics For Balance, but is a
recommended class by local physical therapists.)