Cass County COA class designed to improve balance

Published 10:32 am Thursday, February 11, 2016

Starting on March 1, the Cass County COA will offer A Matter of Balance, a proven program designed to help people manage concerns about falls and increase physical activity.

The program is offered by the COA at Front Street Crossing through a partnership with Region IV Area Agency on Aging.

People who have a fear of falling or have fallen in the past are encouraged to attend “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls.” The program is based upon research conducted by the Roybal Center at Boston University.

Fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself.   People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater.  Many older adults also experience increased isolation and depression when they limit their interactions with family and friends.  “A Matter of Balance” can help people improve their quality of life and remain independent.

A Matter of Balance consists of eight two-hour sessions.  The program will begin on March 1 at 10 a.m. and occur twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) through March 29.  The sessions will take place at Front Street Crossing, 227 S. Front Street, in Dowagiac. Seating is limited, so advanced reservations are required.

During the class, participants learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risk at home, and exercise to increase strength and balance.

Each session will utilize a variety of activities including group discussion, problem solving, and exercise training. Members of the group have the opportunity to share practical solutions that have worked for them. Through the course of the sessions, members will learn positive coping methods to reduce fear of falling and remain active and independent.

Beginning in the third session, the group will spend about 30 minutes per session exercising together. Participants are encouraged to do the exercises at home on the days that the class does not meet.

“A Matter of Balance” helps participants become more confident about managing falls by believing that they can increase strength, find ways to reduce falls, and protect themselves if they do fall. For more information and to register, contact Stephanie or Brenda at (269) 445-8110.