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Release Date: June 08, 2010

June 8, 2010                              Stephen Gruchacz, Department Administrator
                                                    (973) 579-0559 ext. 1227

(Lafayette, NJ)          
Have you turned down a chance to go out with family or friends because you were concerned about falling? Have you cut down on a favorite activity because you might fall? If so, “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” is a program for you.
Fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in severe physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Many older adults also experience increased isolation and depression when they limit their interactions with family and friends. “A Matter of Balance” can help people improve their quality of life and remain independent. 
“A Matter of Balance” is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants learn to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance. The program consists of eight (8) weekly sessions that are facilitated by pairs of volunteer coaches. A guest physical therapist joins one of the sessions to answer questions and demonstrate safety techniques. Participants receive a workbook that includes the exercise program, self-assessment tools and formats for action plans. There is a suggested donation of $10 to cover the cost of printed materials. All donations are voluntary and strictly confidential.
The Sussex County Department of Human Services, Division of Senior Services is sponsoring “A Matter of Balance” at the Lafayette Municipal Building on Thursdays, June 17 thru August 5, 2010, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Division will also be providing FREE training for those interested in being volunteer coaches for the program on Thursday and Friday, June 24 & 25, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Sparta Health and Wellness Center. Volunteers must attend both days.     Contact the Sussex County Department of Human Services, Division of Senior Services at 973-579-0555 or seniorservices@sussex.nj.us for additional information or to register for the program or volunteer coach training.   

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