A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls

A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls is a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have this concern. A Matter of Balance consists of eight two-hour sessions for groups of 10 participants. The class utilizes a variety of activities to address physical, social, and cognitive factors affecting fear of falling and to learn fall prevention strategies. The activities include group discussion, problem-solving, skill building, assertiveness training, videotapes, sharing practical solutions and exercise training.

During the class, participants learn to:

•      view falls and fear of falling as controllable

•      set realistic goals for increasing activity

•      change their environment to reduce fall risk factors

•      promote exercise to increase strength and balance

The program was designed to benefit older adults in the community who:

•      are concerned about falls

•      have sustained a fall in the past

•      restrict activities because of concerns about falling

•      are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength

•      are age 60 or older, mobile and able to problem-solve

The program has proven successful in reducing the fear of falling by increasing participants’ confidence that they can better manage falls risks and that they can take action to help reduce the risk of falling.

Signup sheet is on the bulletin board net to the Parish Nurse office! Come join us Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am-11am. The first class is Monday April 4th and ends Wednesday April 27th.


FAlls part 2

Falls can be serious business, especially as we age. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of three adults 65 and older falls each year, but less than half talk to healthcare providers about it. Among those 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death. They also are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.

More than 19,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries in 2008. Just three years ago, 2.2 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments, and more than 581,000 of those patients were hospitalized.

The CDC offers these tips on how older adults can remain independent and reduce their chances of falling:

•       Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi and ‘Matter of Balance’ programs are especially good.

•       Ask your loved one’s doctors or pharmacists to review their medicines — both prescription and over-the counter — to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.

•       Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize her vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.

•       Make their home safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding stair railings and improving the lighting in the home.

•       To lower their hip fracture risk, make sure they are getting adequate calcium and vitamin D from food and/or from supplements, and that they  get screened and treated for osteoporosis.

 I’m so excited we are starting a ‘Matter of Balance’ class that will be held Mondays and Wednesdays 9-11 am, at Immanuel, during the month of April. It is a wonderful program that does not require you be at a certain fitness level.

A Matter of Balance: ‘Managing Concerns About Falls’ is a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board next to the Parish Nurse Office. The class is limited to 10 people so please sign-up early!                      


death and injury in older populations

Falls are among the leading causes of death and injury in the older population. But families can greatly reduce the risks of accidents by ensuring that their older loved ones have the proper medical care and support.

Q. Grandma Inez suddenly seems unsteady on her feet. She had tried to stay active by walking and gardening, but I noticed recently that she seems to be doing neither. Inez also sometimes holds furniture or touches the wall as she moves about in her house, which looks more cluttered than usual to me. Addressing the balance problem, she insists that it’s normal for someone who is nearly 81. Should I be concerned?

Many people experience problems with their sense of balance as they get older. You should set up a doctor’s appointment for Grandma Inez and go with her. A doctor can determine if she has a serious balance problem involving vertigo, viral or bacterial ear infections, Meniere’s disease, chronic dizziness or drug interactions. A balance disorder also may be caused by a head injury or blood circulation disorders that affect the inner ear or brain, medical experts report.

In addition, problems in the visual and skeletal systems and the nervous systems can be the source of some posture and balance problems, medical experts say. A circulatory system disorder, such as low blood pressure, can lead to a feeling of dizziness when we suddenly stand up. Problems in the skeletal or visual systems, such as arthritis or eye muscle imbalance, also may cause balance problems. However, many balance disorders can begin suddenly and with no obvious cause!

Stay tuned more important information to follow in next week’s bulletin.


Heart Attack Signs in Women

We’ve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.

Heart Attack Signs in Women

  1. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.  “Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, ” said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. “Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.”

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesn’t get help right away.

‘I thought I had the flu’ Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging. “They do this because they are scared and because they put their families first,” Goldberg said. “There are still many women who are shocked that they could be having a heart attack.”

heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds. It occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances (plaque). 

Many women think the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable — the image of the elephant comes to mind — but in fact they can be subtler and sometimes confusing. You could feel so short of breath, “as though you ran a marathon, but you haven't made a move,” Goldberg said. Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them, Goldberg said. Dizziness, lightheadedness or actually fainting are other symptoms to look for.

Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 9-1-1,” Goldberg said. “But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 9-1-1.”


Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12:25

Today is new. It is “Day 1” of the rest of this life on earth. Ask God to open your eyes to His new blessings, to see His creation with new eyes, to notice the old and new people He wants to bless through you. Recognize God’s goodness and creative presence in each moment.

The first day of each week is new … a celebration of God’s goodness and grace. Worship enables us to experience God’s desire for communion with Him and all believers. It uplifts, inspires and sustains us for every other new day. It gives everyone and everything new perspective.

This year’s resolutions are still quite new and somewhat foreign. Hopefully, we continue to recognize the need for change and maintain the determination to make it routine. But we also know that failure lurks around the corner. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual vulnerabilities make us easy prey. The Good News that never gets old? GOD LOVES US! He alone forgives, strengthens and enables us to do life His Way. God is the answer to every question, the solution to every problem. His grace and mercy are always refreshing and new.                                                                                                                        Author Unknown

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17