Many seniors experience a fear of falling. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. The Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention program is implementing an evidence-based program called A Matter of Balance (MOB) for seniors. The program is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels.
Since the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on senior living facilities, the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Program facilitated its first MOB class last May at the Bennett Place Living Community.
The class consisted of 10 seniors from both the Bennett Place Living Community and the surrounding Homewood neighborhood. The class also utilized students in both the Occupational Therapy doctoral program and the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling master’s program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The students assisted with the facilitation of the class and interacted with the seniors.
The participants learned:
- Falls are controllable
- Physical activity is attainable for all ages
- How to make changes to reduce fall risk at home
- Exercises to increase strength and balance
The seniors enjoyed the class and their interactions with the students. We hope to hold another similar class in fall 2022. For more information on the A Matter of Balance program, view the informational video here.