Becoming a Sponsoring Organization

What's it take to sponsor Stepping On? A commitment to falls prevention and the willingness to lend a hand to ensure that workshops take place in a community.  There are many benefits to becoming a sponsoring organization including:

  • Serving as a sponsoring organization demonstrates to the community your organization’s commitment to the health and well-being of older adults.
  • Stepping On can reduce your organization’s costs by preventing falls and the attendant hospitalization and ER costs as well as the emotional costs.  Falls are very expensive for health care providers, social service providers, older adults, and their families.  
  • Involvement with Stepping On demonstrates that your organization is a good community partner and affords the opportunity to develop new partnerships in health care and the aging network; it also raises community awareness about falls.
  • Your involvement educates other professionals about falls prevention (e.g., guest experts including PT, pharmacist, vision expert, community mobility specialist) about the importance of falls awareness and prevention.
  • Being a sponsoring organization re-engages older adults in their communities; reducing falls and the fear of falling increases their mobility and engagement in community, working, shopping, volunteering.

What Does a Sponsoring Organization Do?

A sponsoring organization ensures that resources are committed to assure program success. A sponsoring organization does not have to be the Leader’s employer; however, the sponsoring organization must commit to working with the Leader to identify and assign responsibility and then follow through in organizing and conducting marketing, coordinating the workshop, preparing the materials, inviting and confirming guest experts, and other responsibilities. Leader Training will further explain how Stepping On sponsors and Leaders can establish and nurture this important relationship. Experience shows that Stepping On programs are most successful and sustainable when Leaders and their sponsoring organizations share the implementation responsibilties.

Prior to the Leader Training, the Leader and sponsoring organization should determine task division, including whether any partner organizations will assist with any of the tasks. They will need to communicate closely before and during the workshop to ensure that older adults enrolled are appropriate, guest experts understand what is expected of them and are prepared for their roles, and appropriate materials are available for the display table and the workshop sessions.

 

Is Stepping On Appropriate For Your Organization?

Many organizations are appropriate to become a sponsoring organization.  Senior centers, Aging & Disabiltiy Resource Centers (ADRCs), fitness centers, senior apartment complexes, community hospitals or clinics, faith-based organizations, or other health, social service or related groups can become sponsoring organizations.  In deciding whether Stepping On is appropriate for your organization, consider the following factors:

  • Does your organization have clients, patients or program participants who meet the criteria for the workshop and are interested in falls prevention?
  • Do you have professionals on staff who would be appropriate to be trained as workshop Leaders?
  • Is your organization’s management interested in the program and willing to give staff time to participate in becoming trained as Leaders (three-day Leader Training) and conducting the seven week workshop several times each year?
  • If your organization doesn’t have individuals who would be appropriate to be trained as Leaders, is there an organization in your community you can partner with who could provide individuals to serve as Leaders?
  • In reviewing the Implementation Checklist, can your organization commit (staff time and expertise) to conducting the various tasks necessary to implement and sustain the program?  For those your organization cannot provide, do you have partner organizations that can do so?
  • Is your organization committed to falls prevention and programs that are evidence-based to empower older adults to make changes in their health behaviors to reduce the risk of falls?

For more information about becoming a Stepping On sponsoring organization, contact WIHA.