Aging comes with a variety of unique quirks, oddities, and issues, but falling seems to be a universal association. In the United States, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries. According to a compiled list of fall-related statistics by the National Council on Aging (2019), one in four Americans over age sixty-five fall every year. Additionally, every eleven seconds someone over age sixty-five is treated in the emergency room as a result of a fall and every nineteen minutes someone dies from a fall-related injury. In other words, falls are responsible for more than 2.8 million ER visits and more than 27,000 deaths annually. The fear of falling can lead to reduced activities, physical health decline, social isolation, and depression. However, falling (and injury) does not have to be a part of aging. Falls can be avoided through lifestyle changes and participation in evidence-based fall prevention programs.
A Matter of Balance, an eight-session evidence-based fall prevention program, has been specifically designed to help seniors age sixty and older reduce their fear of falling and increase activity levels. Many older adults who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Activities are conducted in two-hour sessions once a week over an eight-week period (North Central Texas Council of Governments, 2017).
Hunt County Texas A&M AgriLife is partnering with the Area Agency on Agency of North Central Texas to host A Matter of Balance. This eight-session program will be held on Mondays beginning July 1st at 11:00 am at the Commerce Public Library, 1210 Park Street, Commerce, Texas, 75428. Please join us if you are concerned about falls, have fallen in the past, have restricted your activities due to falling concerns, or have an interest in improving balance, flexibility, and strength.
This program is open to all and is free of charge. Please email Sarah.Latham@ag.tamu.edu or call (903) 455-9885 to register. Space is limited.
If you have questions, concerns, or just want to chat, please feel free to call (903) 455-9885, email Sarah.Latham@ag.tamu.edu, or come by the Hunt County Extension office, 2217 Washington Street, Greenville, Texas, 75401. You can also read more about this and many more topics on my blog, http://agentsarah.blogspot.com/.
National Council on Aging. (2019). Falls Prevention Facts. https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/falls-prevention-facts/
North Central Texas Council of Governments. (2017). Health Classes for Older Adults. https://www.nctcog.org/aging-services/older-adults/health-classes
Written by: Sarah Latham, Hunt County Master Gardener