Matter of Balance workshops concluded for 2017


Marie Milleage

The third “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” workshop concluded with 12 residents “graduating” with Certificates of Completion for a total of 42 participants in 2017.

Sponsored by Living Well at Robson Ranch, the Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas offered the evidence-based program, developed by a grant from the Maine Administration on Aging, and used and adapted by permission of Boston University. Matter of Balance concentrates on preventive strategies prior to individuals becoming at risk for falls and injuries and examining reasons for those who have a history of falls.

For two hours weekly for eight weeks, attendees were led through exploration and discussion with focus on balance, strength, flexibility and endurance. The fear of falling is a recognized health problem among older adults. During meetings participants discussed concerns about falling and identified hazards found in the home or the community, health-related risk factors of falling and inactivity that reflected in the loss of muscle strength, limited social interaction and increased risk of isolation, anxiety and depression.

Group members utilized workbooks, videos and flipcharts. They planned development and strategies for prevention and tackled issues regarding barriers and hazards in the home, namely clutter, slippery areas and inappropriate footwear. Leslie Buell, co-facilitator and health professional, discussed physical conditions that could cause falls including low blood pressure, dizziness, medications, inattentiveness, moving too fast and inappropriate use of assistive devices.

During the seventh week Leslie introduced physical therapist Ron Tester, owner of RehabTrust, who complemented the program’s exercise lessons with demonstrations of how to carefully get up after falling, how to safely get out of bed and how to cautiously climb or descend stairs. In addition he spent extra time with instruction on the appropriate and correct use of adaptive tools.

Co-facilitator and resident Marie Milleage led the discussion and lessons regarding involving family members and health care professionals in discussions about falling. While concerns were expressed about being unwillingly placed in a nursing home, participants considered being assertive in expressing their need for independence and asking for assistance when appropriate.

At the conclusion of the eight weeks one participant reported that her daily exercises helped her to feel more secure when walking, and another member expressed her awareness of items out of reach in her home and how she made adjustments to eliminate the hazard.

Look for the two new workshops being offered in 2018, one in spring and another in autumn. More information and registration will be 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.