“A Matter of Balance” Makes a Difference

After a stroke and debilitating complications from a kidney stone, a Clear Lake man is taking a big step forward to regain lost mobility.

Bob Terry is the latest success story to come through the Elderbridge Agency on Aging fall prevention program, A Matter of Balance. While getting ready for his class at Lake Plaza apartments in Clear Lake on a recent Thursday, Bob praised his progress through A Matter of Balance. “It’s one of the big things that really helped me. The doctors put me in rehab at Mercy West Campus in Mason City, and they got a walker for me after the stroke effected my left side. Now, these workshops have given me even more confidence.”

The course is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falls. A Matter of Balance allows participants to understand those fears by examining and setting realistic goals to aid them. These goals will lead people in becoming more independent, active, and confident.

Elderbridge staff are the instructors for the Clear Lake A Matter of Balance workshop. They say many of their students are working to overcome adversity and that Bob is among the top of that list. “Bob has such a great attitude. He doesn’t let his restrictions dampen his spirit,” according to Jennifer Pascal, “His wonderful attitude keeps our class light hearted and fun.” It’s that attitude and will to keep trying that gives Mr. Terry the blue ribbon from instructor Val Sliger, “Bob is a great example of the benefits of exercise and perseverance.  He has been an inspiration to our class.”

A Matter of Balance participants learn to restructure their fear of falling into more positive, confident thoughts. By using a smaller workshop group setting, individuals are able to identify their fears and work on a personalized action plan that can assist them in preventing falls. These plans will address anything from making environmental changes, to increasing physical activity. The participants also learn several low impact exercises that focus on areas such as flexibility, strength and balance.

Bob Terry-A Matter of Balance student

Bob’s road to recovery includes one other active participant, “I sit down with him and do the exercises with him. I use the book and we do them together,” said Dora Lee Terry, Bob’s wife of nearly 60 years. “I feel really good about that. I’ve noticed improvement from Bob. It’s an incentive for him to do it at home.”

Who should attend A Matter of Balance classes?

Anyone over the age of 60, who is experiencing a fear of falling or has sustained a fall in the past. As well as anyone who is ready to increase their activity, flexibility, strength, and balance.

“I would definitely recommend this therapy to others,” said Dora Lee. “I’ve seen an improvement in Bob with the exercises and when his legs don’t move well, I get the A Matter of Balance book and tell him this is what you have to do.”  Bob agreed saying “Yes, I really do look forward to the A Matter of Balance classes. I love them. Its work, but fun and later on I still have some time to take it easy.”

Classes in Clear Lake conclude September 21st and enrollment is filling up fast for the next A Matter of Balance workshop which starts November 1st at Kentucky Ridge Assisted Living in Mason City. Other Elderbridge fall prevention workshops going on in October are in Jefferson, Fort Dodge and Pomeroy.

If you are interested in learning more about Elderbridge sponsored fall prevention workshops, please call 1-800-243-0678 and ask for either Stephanie Carlson or Val Sliger.

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