2013-09-26 / Lifestyles

UPCAP hosts ‘balance’ class to at-risk seniors

MANISTIQUE – UPCAP, serving as the Upper Peninsula’s Area Agency on Aging, recently acknowledged “Falls Prevention Awareness Day.”

According to UPCAP, every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Nationally, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65 and over. Moreover, the chances of falling and being seriously injured in a fall increase with age.

Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls in the older adult population. Experts recommend a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components; consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment; having medications reviewed periodically; getting eyes checked annually; and making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.

At senior centers and other community-based organizations across the United States, programs like “A Matter of Balance”, Tai Chi, and “Stepping On” help older adults gain the strength, improved balance, and confidence to help them live healthier lives and preserve their independence.

UPCAP offers A Matter of Balance classes throughout the Upper Peninsula. A Matter of Balance is an eight-session, small group program led by two trained coaches. It is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants learn to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance.

A class will be held on Wednesday mornings at Harborview Apartments in Manistique. The class meets every week from 10 a.m. until noon beginning on Oct. 2 and ending on Nov. 20.

The class will be taught by Bill Pohlman and Cathy Kaltz. There is no cost to attend.

Call UPCAP to register at (800) 338-1119 or dial 2-1-1 for more information.

Michigan is part of the Falls Free Coalition, which includes more than 40 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies across the country dedicated to reducing fall-related injuries and deaths among older adults.

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