IL Pathways to Health
 

 Falls Prevention Programs

 
 
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A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance is an award winning, evidence-based program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falls. The program utilizes volunteer coaches to teach the eight two-hour sessions. 


Classes help 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

Designed to benefit community-dwelling older adults 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, ambulatory, and able to problem solve

Participants showed improvement in the following areas:

  • Falls Efficacy

  • Falls Management

  • Falls Control

  • Exercise Level

  • Monthly Falls

Participation satisfaction:

  • 97% are more comfortable talking about fear of falling

  • 97% feel more comfortable increasing activity

  • 99% plan to continue to exercise

  • 98% would recommend A Matter of Balance

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What topics will be covered in the workshops?

The program enables participants to achieve significant goals. They gain confidence by learning to:

  • View falls as controllable
  • Set goals for increasing activity
  • Make changes to reduce fall risk at home
  • Exercise to increase strength and balance

A Matter of Balance uses a variety of activities to address the fear of falling and teach fall prevention strategies. Activities include group discussion, problem-solving, skill-building, assertiveness training, videotapes and exercise training.

Will this cost me anything?

Depending on where you are attending the workshop, and the funding source for that workshop, a few scenarios are possible:

  • Most often workshops are offered free of charge. Some organizations may ask for a donation, due to the funding source, but in those cases, it is still optional to donate.
  • Each participant receives a Participant Workbook.
  • For other organizations, dependent on the organization and its funding source, the materials are given to participants free of charge.

How long does the workshop last

The Matter of Balance workshop consists of 8 two-hour sessions, which can be held twice a week for 4 weeks or once a week for 8 weeks. Each two-hour session includes a break for light refreshments. Early sessions focus on changing attitudes before attempting changes in actual behavior. The exercise component, which begins in the third session, takes about 30 minutes of the session to complete.

Is there an age requirement?

The program is designed to benefit older adults who:

  • Are concerned about falls
  • Have fallen in the past
  • Restrict activities because of concerns about falling
  • Are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength
  • Are age 60 or older, community-dwelling and able to problem solve

Can my friend/significant other/family member come too?

Yes! Spouses, significant others, family members, and friends are welcome to join!

Is transportation provided?

Depending on where you are attending the workshop, and the funding source for that workshop, a few scenarios are possible:

  • Transportation may be available from senior center, social service agency, or public transportation provider.
  • Workshop participants eligible for the Community Care Program may request that their Care Coordinator help them arrange transportation.
 

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

A Matter of Balance in Illinois is supported, in part by grant number 90FP0029-01-00, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC. 20201 to Rush University Medical Center.  Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions.  Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living Policy.