Jean Doran casually tossed and received a bright yellow medicine ball with ease. With baseball’s Opening Day not too far in the rearview mirror, she couldn’t help thinking of a second career.

“If our pitchers don’t do well they may need to look to me,” she said with a chuckle.

Her hometown Tampa Bay Rays probably are not looking for an 85-year-old pitcher but the Palm Harbor woman feels healthy enough, and strong enough, to tackle any challenge now.

“I feel 65,” she said.

Doran, like many seniors, had trouble with her balance. She fell and fractured her ankle in November 2016.

Statistics show that 1 in 3 people over 65 will fall this year. Many of those individuals will break bones. The most common is a broken hip.

“I wanted to do something to help prevent those things,” said FOI’s Dr. Christopher Grayson, who developed the Senior Strong program. “Even if we do a perfect surgery, those statistics still come into play and there is not a lot I can do to help the patient once the injury has occurred.”

Senior Strong is Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Fracture and Fall Prevention program designed specifically for senior patients. This innovative and exclusive program uses the latest research in strength and balance training for patients to improve their overall function and give them back independence.

“At my age, the balance isn’t great anyway,” said Doran. “It was important that I get better and get stronger.”

Senior Strong as a comprehensive and proactive program to increase his strength and fitness to give patients better balance – all keys to keeping them healthy and active. It can decrease the risk of falls and increase energy levels.

The program runs up to 8-weeks and typically consist of three visits per week for 45 to 60 minutes each session. The number of weeks varies based on the starting level of individual.

“Our goal is to get them strong,” said Grayson. “They’re seeing that it’s not only possibly to continue living an active lifestyle but that they’re starting to continue to get back to an active lifestyle.”

Facts about Falls:

  • * 1 out of 3 people over 65 fall each year
  • * 25% of persons who have fallen have moderate to severe injuries
  • * Falls are the leading cause of death from injury in persons over 65
  • * Up to 42% of people over 70 fall each year.
  • * Only 25% of patients who have a hip fracture will make it for recovery and 40 percent will require a     move to a nursing home

To sign up for Senior Strong, visit Florida Orthopedic Institute’s website or call (800) FL-ORTHO.