A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls

A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls is a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have this concern. It is based upon research conducted by the Roybal Center for Enhancement of Late-Life Function at Boston University.

A Matter of Balance consists of eight two-hour sessions for groups of 10-12 participants. Sessions are held in community sites such as senior centers, senior housing, libraries, etc. The class utilizes a variety of activities to address physical, social, and cognitive factors affecting fear of falling and to learn fall prevention strategies. The activities include group discussion, problem-solving, skill building, assertiveness training, videotapes, sharing practical solutions and exercise training.

During the class, participants learn to:

  • view falls and fear of falling as controllable
  • set realistic goals for increasing activity
  • change their environment to reduce fall risk factors
  • promote exercise to increase strength and balance

The program was designed to benefit older adults living in the community who:

  • are concerned about falls
  • have sustained a fall in the past
  • restrict activities because of concerns about falling
  • are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength
  • are age 60 or older, mobile and able to problem-solve

The program has proven successful in reducing the fear of falling by increasing participants’ confidence that they can better manage falls risks and that they can take action to help reduce the risk of falling.

A Matter of Balance is currently available in selected counties. If your agency is interested in having staff trained as coaches, holding an A Matter of Balance class or for information on how to find a class in your area, please call 609-438-4797.