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New Partnership Expands Falls Prevention Program

Since United Way introduced the A Matter of Balance falls prevention program in Tarrant County, the program has helped hundreds of local older adults avoid injury and costly hospitalization and emergency room visits caused by falls.

Now a partnership of United Way, Senior Citizen Services, Texas Health Resources and Tarrant County Public Health is using the free, nationally-recognized program to teach many more people how to reduce the risk of falls and how to protect themselves and recover if they do fall.

Tarrant County Public Health is expanding the reach of A Matter of Balance by underwriting training, community health workers and class materials. Tarrant County Public Health’s Medicaid funding enables it to offer classes in new locations such as senior housing and healthcare settings that complement the classes already being offered by Texas Health Resources and Senior Citizen Services in places such as senior centers and faith communities.

Healthsouth and Texas Health Resources have also covered the cost of promotional materials.

All the organizations are measuring their results in the same way to provide a better picture of how the program is making a difference across Tarrant County.

This is an example of how United Way multiplies its impact in the community by bringing in a proven program that is adopted by other organizations that also see its value,” said Don Smith, who oversees United Way’s Live Well healthy aging and independent living initiative. “Together we pool resources and share data so we can demonstrate and document the collective impact we are having.”

The A Matter of Balance program is part of the Live Well initiative because falls are the leading cause of injury deaths in older adults. The average cost of hospitalization and rehabilitation for fall injuries is $48,000 to $70,000.

Through A Matter of Balance, eight two-hour sessions lessen the fear of falling and increase strength and balance through exercise. Classes are taught by certified volunteer coaches trained by Senior Citizen Services. Call 817-413-4949 for more information or to become a volunteer coach.

Upcoming A Matter of Balance Classes

Sept. 17 – Nov. 5, 2014
1 – 3 p.m.
Tarrant County College Northeast
828 W. Harwood Rd., Hurst

Sept. 24 – Nov. 12, 2014
10 a.m. – Noon
Texas Health Fort Worth
1275 W. Terrell Ave., Marion Room B, Fort Worth

Sept. 29 – Oct. 23, 2014
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
North Greenbriar Apartments
5201 James Ave., Fort Worth

Oct. 7 – 30, 2014
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Texas Health HEB
1600 Hospital Parkway, Bedford

Oct. 7 – Nov. 25, 2014
9 – 11 a.m.
Handley Meadowbrook Senior Center
6201 Beaty St., Fort Worth

Oct. 29 – Nov. 21, 2014
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Texas Health Arlington Memorial
810 W. Randol Mill Rd., McRae Building, Arlington