According to the CDC, more than one-third of adults age 65 and older in the United States experience a significant fall each year. Among older adults, falls are the most common cause of hospital admission for physical trauma and traumatic brain injuries, leading to both temporary and permanent loss of independence.
While many causes for falls may seem obvious, there are some contributing risk factors that one may never consider. Amongst these is the fear of falling. The term is used to describe a lasting self-concern that one will fall, which leads to avoiding activities he or she is still capable of performing. The fear often begins after someone has suffered one or more significant falls.
A consequence of this fear is that, if people start to restrict their own physical activities, it begins a cycle of behaviors which perpetuates more falls. Isolation and lack of exercise lead to increased leg weakness, poor posture and decreased mental and social interaction.
There is hope, however! Education programs and workshops are available throughout our region to assist people in learning how to prevent falls and adopt healthful behaviors to improve their physical independence.
One program is the award-winning A Matter of Balance, which has received much support from Eskaton Foundation. Throughout this workshop, participants learn to determine the causes of falls and how to beat the odds. Sessions include:
Participants in this evidence-based course from Boston University have experienced significant improvements.
Live Well at Home by Eskaton offers A Matter of Balance workshops free of charge to Live Well at Home members and Eskaton residents.
For more information on A Matter of Balance and other community fall prevention programs, contact Live Well at Home by Eskaton at 916-334-1072 or toll-free at 888-334-3490.