A Matter of Balance Course Syllabus

A MATTER OF BALANCE – Volunteer Lay Leader Model – Course Syllabus   8 two hour sessions, twice a week for 4 consecutive weeks – 16 hour course total

Session 1: Introduction to Program

• The focus is on “Concern vs. Fear”. The group is introduced to the concept of helpful and unhelpful beliefs about falls and concerns about falling  

Session 2: Exploring Thoughts and Concerns about Falling

• To learn that there are different ways to think about falls and concerns about falls • To realize the importance of recognizing our core beliefs about falls before we are able to change them. Emphasis is on not whether or not I can do it, but HOW can I do it?  

Session 3: Exercise and Falls Prevention

• To understand the importance of exercise in preventing falls • To identify the barriers to exercise • To identify which exercise are best suited for falls prevention • To learn the A Matter of Balance exercises  

Session 4: Assertiveness and Falls Prevention

• To recognize three important physical risk factors for falls: low blood pressure, leg weakness, and poor flexibility/balance • To understand exercises that can be used to prevent falls due to low blood pressure, leg weakness, and poor flexibility/balance • To recognize the relationship between assertive behavior and falls prevention  

Session 5: Managing Concerns about Falling

• To learn how to use Personal Action Planners to start an exercise program • To learn about balance exercises that can be used as part of an individualized exercise program • To recognize misconception and unhelpful thoughts about falling and the effect those thoughts have on feelings and actions • To learn how to shift from self-defeating to self-motivating thoughts  

Session 6: Recognizing Fall-ty Behavior

• To determine which activities are and are not fall risk-taking behaviors • To prioritize risk-taking behaviors to be addressed and changed • To identify thoughts that help to change behavior • To learn ways to shift from negative to positive or helpful thinking  

Session 7: Recognizing Fall Hazards in the Home and Community

• Participants complete the Home Safety Checklist • To recognize potential fall hazards often present in the home and community • To identify strategies to reduce physical hazards in the home and community • To recognize the relationship between assertive behavior and falls prevention • To learn how to get and down safely from a fall  

Session 8: Practicing No Fall-ty Habits & Falls Prevention: Putting it All Together

• To practice assertiveness skills in locating and using resources for falls prevention and seeking help after a fall • To model & practice behaviors in order to eliminate risk-taking behaviors ” It’s All A Matter of Balance”