LEWISTON – For many older adults, falls are among the most serious health hazards they face. Approximately one out of three people over 65 falls at least once a year.

By age 80, that number increases to one out of two. In addition to the physical consequences of falls, the fear of falling itself can affect the quality of life for many seniors. This fear can become a self-fulfilling prophecy because when people are afraid of falling, they often do less, so their physical condition deteriorates, making them even more susceptible to falls.

“A Matter of Balance, Managing Concerns about Falls” is a program developed by Boston University’s Roybal Center Consortium. Through this program seniors can learn how to reduce their fear of falling using a combination of tools, including videos, discussions and gentle physical exercises designed to change attitudes about falling and improve participants’ strength, flexibility and endurance

SeniorsPlus, the local Area Agency on Aging, will offer “A Matter of Balance” for seniors in Androscoggin County at its Lewiston location. Additional locations will be added later in the spring.

Volunteers are needed as facilitators and a one-day training is scheduled. No special skills are necessary. The program is free to participants and the first session will begin in March. Anyone interested in becoming a facilitator should call Connie Belaire at SeniorsPlus at 759-4010 or 1-800-427-1241.

For more information about SeniorsPlus services, call the above numbers.

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