A Matter of Balance

December 20, 2017

For Immediate Release

ATLANTIC, IA – Cass County Public Health is offering a new program, A Matter of Balance, in a new effort to help decrease falls and help older adults manage their fears about falling.

A Matter of Balance is an award-winning program to help older adults learn to manage their concerns about falling, make changes to reduce the risk of falling, and increase their physical activity. Participants meet for two hours each week for eight weeks total, and the program is offered for free.

“What we really love about this program is that it looks at the problem of falls from all angles,” said Beth Olsen, Director of Public Health. “We talk about our fears, concerns, strategies, techniques, and much more. In our third week, we start incorporating simple exercises to help participants increase their flexibility, strength, and balance.”

Cass County Public Health decided to offer this program after learning more about the consequences of falls. In the United States each year, falls account for 2.8 million emergency department visits, about 800,000 hospitalizations, and 27,000 deaths. One out of every 27 Iowa residents aged 65 or older is hospitalized for a fall-related injury. Falls cost Iowa per year $298 million in hospitalizations with the average cost of a hospital stay at $26,400 per person.

“Falls are a major public health concern,” said Beth. “Even the fear of falling can really negatively impact someone’s quality of life.”

Two sessions are currently scheduled for January 2018, and Cass County Public Health is open to scheduling more groups.

“We will host these two sessions at Public Health, but we’re also willing to travel out into the community, too, if there is a group that is interested,” said Beth.

For more information, call Cass County Public Health at 712-243-7546.