Fitness & Wellness

BTV Launches Fall Prevention Testing Program

ZIBRIO SmartScale will Help Residents Make 2021 the Year of Balance

Butterfield is launching a new program for residents using technology to test, monitor and improve their balance, while providing ongoing support to reduce future risk of falls.

The Fitness & Wellness Department will offer the ZIBRIO SmartScale program to residents starting in February, Director Jennifer Neill said. The ZIBRIO SmartScale, a device that looks like a bathroom scale, measures a person’s physical balance to identify if they are at-risk for falling and tracks their progress after intervention.

“Fall prevention is very important at Butterfield, which is why we offer Fall Prevention classes twice a week and why I regularly give talks on the subject,” Neill said. “One in four Americans over age 65 falls each year. Every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall. Every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall – these kinds of statistics are always top of mind. So, yes, fall prevention is a critical part of our role at the Fitness & Wellness Department.”

As people age, their balance generally worsens, and experts agree impaired balance is a leading factor in falls. An older adult may not even realize their balance is deteriorating until after they’ve fallen, which in some cases can be too late.

Neill said BTV residents can easily participate in ZIBRIO SmartScale testing from home. Fitness & Wellness staff will simply bring the SmartScale to the resident’s front door and administer the short (five-minute) test from a distance, if need be. BTV will provide the results to residents immediately, make recommendations, and follow up with re-testing every three months.

“If there are indications of a risk, we’ll offer personalized intervention,” Neill said. “We will offer personal training with one of our interns, our weekly Fall Prevention classes – or we can design an exercise program they can do on their own.”

In the past, Neill has conducted campus-wide balance testing at the Village using the Berg Balance Scale tool and the Wii Fit Balance Board, but each had limitations.

The SmartScale not only explains the reasons behind a resident’s balance score, but it tracks their progress to identify strategies for improvement – which makes it an excellent fit for Butterfield.

Also in February, BTV will take a deep dive into balance wellness as part of an initiative to make 2021 “the year of balance at Butterfield,” Neill said. The Fitness & Wellness team will be offering educational talks, guest speakers and physical therapy instruction – all to help residents improve their balance.

For more information about balance testing and monitoring, contact the Fitness & Wellness Department at