Sarah Eichberger , Michigan State University Extension –
Introducing ‘A Matter of Balance’, a successful falls prevention program that saves money and improves lives.
Fear of falling is a common concern among older adults. Possessing a moderate fear of falling is associated with: decreased mobility, decreased social interaction, increased frailty and depressed mood. For adults 65 years and older, falls are the leading cause of head injuries and broken hips. In addition to being prevalent, falls are expensive – with the cost of fall injuries for 2013 totaling $34 billion dollars.
What is A Matter of Balance?
A Matter of Balance is an educational program, consisting of eight, two-hour sessions aimed at reducing the fear of falling and increasing activity levels and confidence among older adults. Throughout the course, participants establish goals for increasing activity, identify modifications to their environment to reduce fall risk, practice strength and balance exercises and learn from each other.
Picture source: A Matter of Balance Participant Workbook. MainHealth’s Partnership for Healthy Aging
Program evaluation reveals positive and cost-saving results. Nearly 100 percent of participants report feeling more comfortable talking about their fear of falling and plan to continue building strength and balance through exercise. The course is also attributed to a $938 saving in unplanned medical expenses per Medicare beneficiary (National Council on Aging).
Who should attend?
What have program participants said?
According to course surveys from participants within northern Michigan, A Matter of Balance has been very popular. When asked what changes they have made as a result of the course, participants stated the following:
“I have become more confident in reaching, taking a few steps independently and planning my movements ahead of time. Thinking about planning before any movement.” – Charlevoix County
“A good way to meet other people with similar problems” – Benzie County
“More confidence! I would recommend this course to others.” – Kalkaska County
Visit Michigan State University Extension to find A Matter of Balance in your community.
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).
Did you find this article useful?
Please tell us why?
Early childhood development resources for early childhood professionals.
Published on August 27, 2018
Published on July 13, 2021
Published on September 8, 2021
Published on January 9, 2015
Published on September 19, 2014
Published on June 11, 2018
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential.
Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Quentin Tyler, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. This information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned.
The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707.
We comply with the Federal Trade Commission 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).