By Portia Williams
It is all about balance. This is what residents of National Church Residences/Riverview have been learning during the course of the eight-week Matter of Balance class. Facilitation of the class is a collaborative effort between staff of RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and Riverview.
Libby Brisker, RSVP coordinator, and Sandy Williams, Social Service coordinator at Riverview, are teaching “A Matter of Balance.” Brisker and Williams both received training provided by the Area Agency on Aging, District 7. Brisker said falling is prevalent among adults 65 and older which lead to injuries.
“Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospital visits and deaths for Ohioans 65 and older, and the risk of suffering a serious injury increases with age,” she said.
Contrary to popular belief, Brisker said falls are not necessarily common for the elderly.
“Falls in older adults is not natural to getting older, like so many people think. But, falling is very common as one ages and the fear of falling and injury from a fall can be debilitating,” she said.
She said Matter of Balance is designed to reduce the fear of falling and helps participants recognize that falls and the fear of falling as controllable and preventable, and participants learn exercises that increases strength, range of motion and balance and exercises that can be done at home with little or no assistance or equipment.
Matter of Balance also helps participants to stop and think about what they are doing while performing daily tasks in order to ensure safety through daily practice called, “Recognizing and Changing Fall-ty Habits.”
According to Brisker, a Matter of Balance was developed and formally evaluated by the Roybal Center for Enhancement of Late-Life Function at Boston University and received the Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation in 1998.
For information regarding the Matter of Balance eight-week class, contact Libby Brisker at 740-353-8818.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-343-3101, ext. 286.