I recently spent time in the home of a senior in Santa Cruz who reached out to Helping Hands for help with identifying hazard areas in and around her home that could cause her to fall. Mary explained to me that she had stopped visiting friends and going on walks because she was afraid of falling. Mary started to restrict her activities about a year ago when she almost fell going down a set of stairs in the front of her house. The fear of falling had made her less independent and isolated in her home.
When our volunteers went to Mary’s home for a safety inspection, they identified several areas that needed improvement and performed the repairs right then and there. In addition, they let her know about an upcoming falls prevention workshop happening this October called A Matter of Balance. The program uses practical strategies to manage falls, gives suggestions for making changes to reduce fall risks at home and helps to develop the habit of exercise to increase strength and balance.
The National Council on Aging states that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and can generate gigantic economic and personal costs. We know that falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through lifestyle adjustments and falls prevention programs like A Matter of Balance, the number of falls among seniors can be dramatically reduced.
Mary is thrilled to have a safer home to live in by having home modifications performed by Helping Hands and she now also has the opportunity to manage her concerns about falls through taking a Matter of Balance workshop.
Today is the 10th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day. I invite you to join us in taking a Stand to Prevent Falls and share the local resources available with older adults in your life to help them avoid falls.
We will host our first 4 week Matter of Balance Class starting October 17th at the Live Oak Senior Center. Class will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 – 11:30
Blog Post written by Senior Programs Coordinator Tara Ireland who inspires volunteers to give back to their community and to local seniors in need. Last year through her coordination efforts with Helping Hands, safety related home repairs were provided at 236 homes in Santa Cruz County. Tara recently received her certification as a Matter of Balance Master Trainer.