UT-TSU Extension Program Helps Older Adults Prevent Falls

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A Matter of Balance Enhances Wellness, Improves Independence 

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. – Falls are one of the leading medical emergencies for seniors, often resulting in injuries that impact mobility and reduce quality of life. The A Matter of Balance program, hosted by University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University (UT-TSU) Extension, teaches practical strategies to improve physical and mental wellness and prevent life-threatening accidents.

With free classes hosted online and in person across the state, A Matter of Balance is accessible regardless of an individual’s location, economic background or medical history. Each session teaches attendees how to stay safe both inside and outside their residence, and offers guided exercises to increase balance. The program also helps participants achieve better mental and emotional health, particularly those living alone or who have a history of falls.

Karen Jones, family and consumer sciences agent at UT-TSU Extension Haywood County, says that falls can cause severe anxiety. “A fear of falling can be just as debilitating as the accident itself, sometimes people will even avoid doing the things they love. Caution is important, but we want to foster confidence and positive thinking so each attendee feels capable living life to the fullest.”

A Matter of Balance teaches participants to not only set goals for improving their health, but to also create surroundings where falls are less likely to occur. Instructors suggest removing loose rugs, adding grip bars to bathrooms, installing handrails where appropriate and waiting until people are around before engaging in risky behavior such as using step ladders.

“Many falls are completely avoidable,” says Jamya Douglas, family and consumer sciences agent at UT-TSU Extension Haywood County. “A Matter of Balance is just one way to further your safety whether you live alone, with loved ones or even in a nursing home. Nothing is more important than your long-term independence.”

A Matter of Balance is free to attend and hosted at over 15 locations across Tennessee. For more information on in-person classes and online availability, visit fcs.tennessee.edu or contact your local county Extension office.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is comprised of the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension. Through its land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach, the Institute touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. to Tennesseans and beyond. utia.tennessee.edu

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