By Linda Lauzon, Park Ridge Health Home Health

Have you turned down a chance to go out with family or friends because you were concerned about falling? Have you cut down on a favorite activity because you might fall? People who experience a fear of falling often limit their physical activities, which can result in loss of strength, reduced muscle tone and balance problems, making the risk of falling greater.

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans? Falls are costly, in dollars and in quality of life. However, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be reduced substantially.

Park Ridge Health Home Health is part of the WNC Fall Prevention Coalition. The Coalition is committed to reducing the number of falls and fall-related injuries in Western North Carolina. The Coalition is comprised of representatives from more than 30 regional organizations. Together, they address the need for coordinated and multifactorial fall prevention strategies in WNC through community awareness, provider education, as well as, a balance and screening referral process.

As part of the Coalition’s efforts, The Land of Sky Regional Council sponsors an evidence-based program called “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls." The program's goal is to reduce fear of falling, stop the fear of falling cycle, and increase activity levels among community-dwelling older adults. This eight-session program addresses the fear of falling with practical coping strategies such as: promoting a view of falls and fear of falling as controllable, setting realistic goals around increasing activity, changing the environment to reduce risk factors, and promoting exercise to increase strength and balance. The program provides trained lay leaders to facilitate the sessions, and helps coach the participants through many activities and learning objectives. Linda Lauzon and Gay Anderson, Home Health team members from Park Ridge Health, are two of the co-facilitators presenting the programs in both Buncombe and Henderson Counties.

By attending A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls you will:

  • Set realistic goals for staying active
  • Learn how to stay safe at home
  • Complete exercies to increaess strength and balance
  • Learn how to identify and control your fear of falling

The class is conducted over eight sessions by trained coaches and meets weekly or twice weekly for two hours per session.

“Matter of Balance was most helpful - it made me more aware of what can be done to ensure safety at home. The class provided a definite time each week to meet and discuss concerns with others. Great to share and learn!" Class participant quote

To learn more about the time and location of the upcoming Matter of Balance classes in your community, please contact Stephanie Stewart with The Land of Sky Regional Council at 828.251.6622.

For more details about Park Ridge Health’s Home Health Services, please call 855.PRH.LIFE (855.774.5433).