Master trainers ready to reduce the fear of falling among older Ohioans
Building the infrastructure to expand "A Matter of Balance" program statewide
June 6, 2014
Older Ohioans should not be limited by the fear of falling. Falling is not a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented. Yet, it is not an exaggeration to call falls among older adults an epidemic in Ohio. Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths for Ohioans age 65 and older.
A significant risk factor for falls is the fear of falling. When someone is afraid of falling, he might limit his activity or change his behavior in ways that actually increase his chances of falling.
A Matter of Balance is a community-based program specifically designed to reduce fear of falling and improve activity levels among community-dwelling older adults. The program includes eight classes, each lasting two hours, presented over a four-week period by trained facilitators using a detailed training manual and other resources.
Statewide expansion of the program is a key strategy in the STEADY U Ohio falls prevention initiative. Today, 63 of 88 counties offer the program. On June 4 and 5, 2014, 20 aging network professionals and volunteers from all over Ohio came to Columbus to become A Matter of Balance master trainers.
Master trainers recruit and train coaches to lead A Matter of Balance classes in their communities. The training session was coordinated by the Ohio Department of Aging and MaineHealth's Partnership for Healthy Aging, and led by Patti League, RN, national program manager for A Matter of Balance. These new master trainers will help expand the program into unserved and underserved areas.
A Matter of Balance focuses on practical coping strategies to reduce fear of falling and to diminish the risk of falling. The curriculum includes lectures, group discussions, mutual problem solving, role-play activities, exercise training, assertiveness training, and home assignments. Participants practice exercises to improve strength, coordination and balance, as well as learn how to conduct a home safety evaluation, and get up and down safely.
Learn more and find A Matter of Balance near you.
Photos from the Master Trainer session
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