A Matter of Balance
Up to half of older adults experience a fear of falling. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. The Roybal Center at Boston University has developed a nationally recognized program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. It includes 8 two-hour sessions for a small group of 8-12 participants led by a trained facilitator. The program is known as A Matter of Balance.
Starting Tuesday, August 15, the Quemado Senior Center will be sponsoring A Matter of Bal
ance (MOB) classes. MOB is an 8 week structured group session that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to view falls and the fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercises to increase strength and balance.
Each week, participants will be involved in group discussions about specific problems and will brain-storm on solutions for those problems. MOB coaches will lead the group in simple, gentle exercises to help increase strength, balance, and confidence. Why is A Matter of Bal
ance so important to our community? Well, the majority of falls occur during daily activities. Falls are the number one cause of injury, hospital visits due to trauma, and death from an injury among people age 65 and older. It is estimated that one in three older adults fall each year. Usually, the cause of the fall is more than just one thing, and most falls are preventable. As stated earlier, the fear of falling causes many people to restrict their activity. This reduced activity leads to several problems. First, there is atrophy of muscles, which further exacerbates the problem. It may also reduce social interaction, leading to isolation, anxiety and depression. MOB provides the opportunity for people with a common problem to come together to learn from each other and help each other overcome their fear of falling.
MOB is an evidence based program. That means that it has been around long enough to show that the program actually works. After completing the program, 97% of the participants say that they are more comfortable about talking to someone about their fear of falling. 97% of the participants are comfortable with increasing their activity levels and 99% plan to keep exercising after the program is over. 98% of the participants would recommend the class to others. Who should attend? The program is designed to benefit older adults who: 1) are concerned about falls 2) have fallen in the past 3) restrict activities because of concerns about falling 4) are interested in improving flexibility, balance, and strength 5) are 60 or older and able to problem-solve
Anyone interested in participating should contact Paul Templeton at the Quemado Senior Center 575-773-4820. Class limited to 12 participants.