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FaME programme vs Elderfit class: Which is right for you?

Posted on 14th February 2024

One question we get asked a lot is, “What’s the difference between the FaME course, and going to an Elderfit class?” If you’re not sure which class is for you, or if you’re interested in going to both, read on for a full breakdown.

Elderfit class

The classes draw on a variety of techniques, including mobility exercises, resistance bands and hand/leg weights. Whilst regular class attendance is encouraged to build and maintain strength, classes are paid on an individual basis and are very flexible around someone’s lifestyle. Whilst it’s common to see the same faces every week, there are regular new attendees and there is no need to pre-register for classes.

Improvement is monitored via questionaires and in-class progress.¬† To attend a class it’s as simple as calling the instructor to check there are spaces available. The first class is free and there is no obligation to return.

FaME (Falls Management Exercise for Strength, Balance and Stability)

The FaME programme runs over 24 weeks, via a once weekly session. The same closed group of people attend, and participants are encouraged to consistently attend over the duration of the programme. Classes are capped at 14 attendees, with two instructors per class. This allows for more one-on-one coaching and individual guidance.

Progress is consistently monitored from start to finish via various testing methods, which allows us to record progress individually.

The FaME programme is run via support from the Cardiff and Vale Health Board. Particpants cant self-refer on the Keeping Me Well website.

Watch the video below to hear our FaME participant Fran talk about the programme

Backward Chaining

A key element of the FaME programme is backward chaining. This is the process of getting down to the ground safely, and getting back up again. The theory behind this process is that if you can get down safely, you can learn how to get up safely. A fall can have a huge impact on someone’s life, if they don’t have the confidence to get back on their feet independently. The goal of this action is to have people feel confident on their feet, and maintain that confidence should a fall occur. Over the course of the 24 week programme we gradually build up strength and balance, and around 11-12 weeks begin teaching backwards chaining.

Watch the short video below for a short introduction t0 backward chaining

So which class do I choose?

It depends on your goals. We’ve had participants attend both the FaME programme and Elderfit classes, and found both beneficial. The content of the classes are similar in movements, resistance bands, and strength and balance exercises.

We recommend the FaME programme to those that need more physical support, or would like in-depth sessions on falls and getting up safely. The classes are very structured, as the programme has a clear start/ end date, and milestones for monitoring are fixed. There is certain exclusion and exclusion criteria to be met before you can register, which will be discussed with the instructor prior to enrolment.

The Elderfit classes, whilst also designed to improve strength and balance and build confidence, do not follow as tightly structured a schedule as FaME. As the classes are on an individual basis, people can attend more flexibly, and the exercises do not include backward chaining.

If you have any questions on the FaME programme, please get in touch with Gareth or register here.

If you’d like to find an Elderfit class near you, please look at our current timetable.