A Matter of Balance

Researchers at Clemson University have discovered that seniors are afraid of falling, and therefore do not get out of the house as much or participate in activities that are essential to healthy aging. Falling exposes seniors to hazardous consequences, such as immobilizing injuries and complete loss of independence.  Falls are the leading cause of injury to people 65 years and older.

Clemson’s Dr. Cheryl Dye, Professor of Public Health Services, CU Institute for Engaged Aging, is certified as a trainer for A Matter of Balance, brought to you by MaineHealth’s Partnership for Healthy Aging, with permission of Boston University. The in-depth course is  vital to the health of seniors in the community. Dye recently certified Fifty Upstate’s executive director, Yvonne Harper, and Appalachian Council of Aging’s nutrition program manager, Daniell Vankirk, to teach this course in the Upstate. The program teaches seniors how to prevent a fall, safely get up from a fall, increase physical activity and improve their balance. The eight-session course gives individuals, once home-bound due to fear of falling, the confidence and self-efficacy to get out into the community with little to no anxiety of falling.

The Mattter of Balance sessions will include reducing activities and/or behaviors which place one at risk for fall, light to moderate exercise, including stretching, balance and range of motion exercises as well as learning to recognize important physical risk factors for falls, such as low blood pressure, leg weakness, and poor flexibility and balance. Fifty Upstate expects to offer eight-session courses starting in fall of 2019.

For more information, contact Fifty Upstate, yharper@fiftyupstate.org or 864621-9738.