Falls Prevention

Falls are a major concern for older adults. A fall can cause serious injuries requiring costly medical treatment. They can impact a person's quality of life and sometimes, they are even fatal. While falls can be common among older adults - one in three older adults falls each year - they are also largely preventable! By learning to identify and correct the factors that put you at risk for a fall, you can take control to reduce the fear of falling and greatly reduce your chances of experiencing a fall.

The Center for Agewell Programs at Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) offers nationally recognized, evidence-based workshops, and balance and strength screening events to help older adults maintain healthy, active lifestyles free from falls and falls-related injuries. We offer:

Balance and Strength Screenings
SMAA collaborates with a wide array of community partners to offer periodic balance and strength screenings to help older adults identify issues that increase their risk for fall. Activities include physical balance tests, sitting and standing blood pressure readings, and pharmacy consultations to review medications.

Balance and strength screenings are held in community settings periodically during the year. We do not provide in-home falls risk screenings.

Falls Risk Screening - What to Expect by: Diane Atwood

A Matter of Balance Workshop
A Matter of Balance is a nationally recognized program designed to reduce the fear of falling and encourage physical activity. The workshop is conducted over eight sessions, meeting weekly or twice weekly for two hours per session. Meetings are led by trained volunteer leaders.

Participants learn to:
View falls as something they can control
Set goals and increase their activity levels
Make changes around the home to reduce fall risks
Exercise to increase strength and balance
Become proactive self-managers in reducing their own risk for falls

A Matter of Balance can help you if:
You are 60 or older
You have fallen in the past or are fearful about falling
You don't do some things you enjoy because you fear falling
You would like to be more flexible, stronger, and have better balance

Does it work? A Matter of Balance is an award-winning, evidence-based falls intervention. Participants report more control over factors that could cause them to fall, increased exercise and activity levels, and fewer falls. Participants feel more comfortable talking about the fear of falling and plan to continue exercising. 98% of participants would recommend A Matter of Balance to their friends and loved ones.

What Participants Say About A Matter of Balance
"I have become more outgoing and confident in social activities."
(F, 80-84)
"This was a great class! It was very informative and the leaders made it
fun!" (F, 70-74)
"I now plan to exercise. The exercises seemed too simple at first but now
I see them as quite beneficial and good to do." (M, 75-79)
"Great instructors! Their enthusiasm kept me coming - all very convinced
of the importance of each part of the class." (F, 70-74)
"I feel more energetic in whatever I am up to." (M, 80-84)

The Center for Agewell Programs at Southern Maine Agency on Aging is a licensed provider for A Matter of Balance through MaineHealth's Partnership for Healthy Aging. A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls Volunteer Lay Leader Model © 2006. This program is based on Fear of Falling: A Matter of Balance. Copyright © 1999, Trustees of Boston University. All rights reserved. Used and adapted by permission of Boston University.

This project was supported by grant number 90FC2000, financed solely by Prevention and Public Health Funds from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 20201.