Living Well continues balance workshops

Marie Milleage

In June 14 residents received certificates for completing the second workshop in the “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” series. The evidence-based program, sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas, was developed by a grant from the Maine Administration on Aging and used and adapted by permission of Boston University.

North Central Texas office Master Trainer Kim Mathis, healthcare professional Leslie Buell and resident Marie Milleage coached the attendees through exploration and discussion in the four-week, 16-hour workshop considering balance, strength, flexibility and endurance concerns.

Fear of falling is a recognized health problem among older adults for those who have or have not fallen. The National Council on Aging reports that one-fourth of Americans aged 65 and older falls yearly, “threatening seniors’ safety.” The Matter of Balance program concentrates on preventive strategies prior to individuals becoming at risk for falls and injuries.

Falling and inactivity are reflected in loss of muscle strength and balance, limitation of social interaction and an increased risk of isolation, depression and anxiety. During the workshop sessions participants expressed their levels of concern about falling and identified hazards found in the home or the community and other health-related risk factors while discussing methods to reduce falls, efforts to increase physical strength and ways to become steadier on their feet.

The multicomponent program utilized workbooks supplemented by videos, flipcharts and examination of common fears of falling, recognition of habits that lead to falls and planning strategies for management and prevention. Separated into groups, participants helped each other tackle issues about barriers and hazards including clutter, slippery areas, moving too fast, inappropriate footwear, not using a walking aid or using it incorrectly and health related causes of low blood pressure, dizziness, medications and inattentiveness.

Beginning with the third session, attendees performed routine and easy exercises while seated and standing. Physical Therapist Cortney Harper joined the group during the sixth exercise period with instructions on how to get up carefully after falling, how to get out of bed safely and how to climb or descend stairs securely.

Participants evaluated their learned knowledge by being likely to talk to family members or a health care professional about falling, continuing to perform the exercises and having confidence in identifying and reducing risks of falling, challenging negative thoughts about falling and developing assertive skills for asking for help when needed.

A new workshop began in late August and will run through early November 2017. More information and registration is available on

All content within presentations sponsored by the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee is intended for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in any presentation.