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Home Our Programs Healthy Aging Matter Of Balance Class

An active, older adult couple doing Tai Chi outdoors.
An older adult woman flexing her muscle in an exercise class.
An older adult male on an outdoor track with his walker demonstrating it is never too late to get started on a fitness program.
Three older adult women in a pool enjoying an aquatics class.

Matter Of Balance Class

A Matter of Balance is one of our healthy aging programs designed for those who have fallen or who have a fear of falling. Taking a Matter of Balance class will not only help you view falls as controllable, make lifestyle changes to reduce falls, but will also increase your strength and balance and be more empowered when it comes to falls.

What to Expect at A Matter of Balance Class:

A Matter of Balance class is designed specifically for older adults who have fallen or who have a fear of falling. The award-winning program is designed to reduce not only that fear but also increase activity levels in older adults. Classes are taught by two trained volunteer coaches and often meet throughout the community at senior centers, apartment community rooms, churches or any other place that allows for a small group interaction. A Matter of Balance classes is divided into eight two hour sessions where participants will learn to:

  • View falls and fear of falling as controllable
  • Set goals for increasing activity
  • Change environment to reduce fall risk factors
  • Promote exercise to build strength and balance
  • Prepare for what to do if you should fall

Sessions include peer interaction and problem-solving, assertiveness training, home safety tips, and fall prevention strategies as well as physical activity and strengthening exercises.

This program was developed at the Royal Center at Boston University and has been nationally recognized winning the 2006 Healthcare and Aging Award from the American Society on Aging and the 2006 Innovations and Achievements Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is recognized as a leader in A Matter of Balance and has a Masters Level Instructor on staff who regularly trains trainers both locally and around the country.

Who Should Attend A Matter of Balance Class:

A Matter of Balance classes are for older adults who are concerned about falls. Perhaps they have sustained a fall in the past or restrict activities because of concerns about falling. It's also for those who want to improve their flexibility, balance, and strength. Participants do need to be age 60 and over who are able to walk (with or without the use of an assistive device such as a cane or a walker) and are able to problem solve.

What Participants are Saying:

After completing A Matter of Balance, participants demonstrated significant improvements in their level of falls management, falls control, level of exercise, and social limitations regarding falling. 97% of those who have taken the class say they are more comfortable talking about falls and their fear of falling and they feel comfortable increasing their activity levels. 99% say they plan to continue exercising and 98% say they would (or have) recommended A Matter of Balance classes to their friends. As a matter of fact, some participants end of volunteering to go through training in order to teach the class!

  • "A Matter of Balance was most helpful - it made me more aware of what can be done to assure safety at home. The class provided a definite time each week to meet and discuss concerns with others. I wish we had even more exercise activities at each class. Great to share and learn!"
  • "It has benefited all of us in that we feel stronger and in more control of our bodies. We would never have started this if it wasn't for taking "A Matter of Balance," so I believe it has changed some people's lives."
  • "I'm already noticing a difference in my physical being. I'm sure I'm a little more mobile than I had been and plan to continue these exercises. Hopefully, I'll be jumping over the moon - soon!"

How Can I get Involved in A Matter Of Balance Class?

Does A Matter of Balance Class sound like the perfect fit for you, or someone you know? Simply, view our schedule of upcoming classes to find one near you. The class listings will have contact information, location, and time and dates of upcoming sessions. You can also contact our Healthy Aging team at healthyaging@aaawm.org.

Want to Become A Matter of Balance Coach or Host a Class at Your Location?

A Matter of Balance is always looking for more volunteer coaches to lead classes. If you are interested in becoming a coach, you must attend a coach training sessions, offered by Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. For more information, including dates and time of upcoming sessions, contact our Healthy Aging team at healthyaging@aaawm.org or call us at (616) 588-2580. Want to host A Matter of Balance at your location or schedule a class at your facility? Contact a member of our Healthy Aging team at healthyaging@aaawm.org or call (616) 588-2580 to find out what it means to host A Matter of Balance class at your facility.

Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan
3215 Eaglecrest Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: 616-456-5664 or 888-456-5664 • Fax: 616-456-5692


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