The “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” workshop, evidence-based program, was developed by a grant from the Maine Administration on Aging, used and adapted by permission of Boston University.
Congratulations were extended to 14 residents who completed this 16-hour workshop sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas, Department of Aging and Disability Services. Coaches, healthcare professional Leslie Buell and resident Marie Milleage co-facilitated the eight-week program comprised of interactive, exploration and discussion sessions. Pre- and post-surveys revealed the participants’ levels of concern or fear of falling, ways to reduce falls, ability to increase physical strength and how to become steadier on their feet.
Research recognizes fear of falling as a specific health problem among older adults for those who have and have not fallen. According to the Center for Disease Control, 30% of adults 65 years and older fall each year reporting hip fractures and head injuries. Although some hazards are found in the home or the community, other risk factors are health related. Falling has vast implications for illness among the aged.
Participants used workbooks, supplemented by a video, highlights on flipcharts and discussion to examine common fears of falling, recognize habits that lead to falls and plan strategies for management and prevention. In a group format they helped each other to address barriers and hazards including clutter, slippery areas, hurrying, inappropriate footwear, not using a walking aid or using it incorrectly, as well as personal health related causes of low blood pressure, dizziness, medications and inattentiveness.
Beginning in the third session the group performed routine and easy exercises while seated and standing. Ron Tester, RehabTrust, joined the group during the sixth meeting with instructions on how to get up after falling, how to get out of bed safely and how to climb or descend stairs. Attention was paid to inactivity that shows loss of muscle strength and balance as well as limiting social interaction and increasing risk of isolation, depression and anxiety.
At the program’s conclusion one participant stated that her falls were preventable, while another stated that she is more likely to talk to family members or a health care professional about falling. And one man commented about the exercises being easily learned and comfortable to do. All participants reported more confidence in identifying and reducing risks of falling, challenging negative thoughts about falling and developing assertive skills for asking for help when needed.
New workshops in August through November 2017. More information and registration available on www.rrlwc.com.
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.