Fall Prevention Awareness Day: YMCA Holds Evidence-Based Fall Prevention Program

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WEST CHESTER, PA — One in five falls results in a serious injury and for older adults the average medical costs are upwards of $30,000 per fall. In recognition of national fall prevention awareness day, held annually during the first week of fall, the YMCA seeks to raise awareness that falls are preventable.

“The statistics around falls are terrifying,” shares Laura Schofield-Pierson, who is helping to lead the implementation of the Matter of Balance program at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. “As someone with aging parents who are still struggling with the aftermath of a fall, I know all too well how much one fall can impact an entire family.”

Matter of Balance, now offered at five YMCA of Greater Brandywine locations, is an evidence-based program designed to help teach practical skills in fall prevention including exercises to improve strength and balance as well as cognitive restructuring exercises.

In older adults, one of out of every five falls causes a serious injury and falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Not only do they have a potentially devastating impact on health, but they also come with a steep price tag – with the average cost of a fall at more than $30 thousand dollars.

Matter of Balance is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity level of older adults. The eight-session program meets weekly, and instructors cover how to set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risks at home and how to increase strength and balance, all with a larger goal of viewing falls as controllable. Each class meets for two hours.

The program is recommended by the National Council on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The programs begin in October 2022 and typical participants are aged 65 and older, but registration is not limited to a specific age.

The YMCA is dedicated to encouraging people of all ages and activity levels to improve their overall health and to providing a supportive community for individuals to pursue a healthier version of themselves.

A Matter of Balance joins a variety of health management and disease prevention programming at the YMCA including LIVESTRONG at the YMCAParkinson’s Cycle, Enhance and Functional Fitness classes, classes and programs for adaptive abilities, water aerobics and low impact exercise classes and more.

To learn more, visit the YMCA of Greater Brandywine website at ymcagbw.org/balance or select the health management and disease prevention program option from the menu.

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