Area Agency on Aging to Offer Free Matter of Balance Coach Training in West Palm Beach
The Matter of Balance Workshop was developed by Boston University in an effort to reduce the amount and risk of falls among the senior population. Our mission, as an organization, is to bring education and a solution to this ever growing problem among our senior population.
Last year the Palm Beach County Fire Department received 27,000 calls. Of the 27,000 calls, 1/3 were related to seniors falling in their homes. Unfortunately there hasn’t been enough outreach for this problem, but we are working with amazing and wonderful people like you to bring awareness, positive encouragement, and safety to the lives of our seniors!
The Area Agency on Aging is now recruiting volunteers to become certified for free as a Matter of Balance Coach (Facilitator) at our West Palm Beach Agency.
The Training and certification will be held in West Palm Beach on February 26 – 27th from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM and on
March 25 – 26th from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM.
The Workshops are 8 weeks long, one session a week, for 2 hours per class. At the end of each Workshop, all Facilitators will receive a $225 stipend for their services.
Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls
A Matter of Balance is an evidence-based program designed to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults who manifest this concern.
The program was developed at Boston University with a grant from the National Institute on Aging. A Matter of Balance received the Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation in 1998.
Studies indicate that up to half of community dwelling older adults experience fear of falling, and that many respond to this concern by curtailing activity. Being inactive results in loss of muscle strength and balance. It can also compromise social interaction and increase the risk for isolation, depression and anxiety. Fear of falling can actually contribute to falling.
A Matter of Balance acknowledges the risk of falling but emphasizes practical coping strategies to reduce this concern. Trained facilitators conduct workshops consisting of eight two-hour weekly sessions designed for groups of 10 to 16 participants. During the class, participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable and set realistic goals for increasing activity. They also find ways to change the environment to reduce fall risk factors and learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance.
Your Aging Resource Center partners with community organizations to offer A Matter of Balance free of charge to seniors age 60 and older who are able to problem solve. We also offer the Spanish version of the program, Asunto de Equilibrio.
After completing A Matter of Balance Participants have demonstrated significant improvements in their level of falls management and control, level of exercise and social involvement with regard to concern about falling.