Did you know that 1 in 3 people aged 65+ falls every year? Or that chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and lung disease can force older adults to give up their independence too soon?

The good news is that there are free classes available to help older adults reduce their risk of falling and help people with chronic diseases learn to manage their symptoms for better quality of life.

A Matter of Balance

Classes emphasize practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. You will learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable. You’ll set realistic goals to increase activity, change your environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance.

These proven classes were developed by Maine Health’s Partnership for Healthy Aging, and have been taught with successful results nationally. Two coaches teach small classes, no larger than 16 persons. Two-hour classes are scheduled weekly for eight weeks or twice a week for four weeks.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program – Diabetes Self Management Program

Interactive classes focus on building your skills to deal with any ongoing health condition, including arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, depression, emphysema, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and other physical and mental conditions. Classes are scheduled for 2 ½ hours weekly for six weeks. One or both of the lay leaders teaching your class have a chronic condition.

Topics include techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation; improving strength, flexibility, and endurance; healthy eating; appropriate use of medications; and working more effectively with health care providers.

Developed by Stanford University and taught with proven results throughout the world, Self-Management classes can be your answer to take charge of your health and your life.

To sign up for classes or discuss volunteer opportunities, contact:

Collin & Denton Counties: North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging, 1-800-272-3921 or 940-999-1024

Dallas County: Dallas Area Agency on Aging, 214-871-5065, empoweryou@ccgd.org ~

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Marilyn Self, Director of the Dallas Area Agency on Aging, at the Community Council of Greater Dallas. 214-871-5065 or mself@ccgd.org