Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reduce the risk of falling: “Matter of Balance” Program Starts March 5 in Galena

Contact: Dr. Jim Wirth
Headquartered at Taney County Extension
Tel: (417) 546-4431
FORSYTH, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension is offering a free series of five classes designed to help adults ages 60 and over learn how to prevent falls. The "Matter of Balance" program is supported by a Helping Hands grant from the Skaggs Foundation which is aimed at supporting health and wellness in Taney and Stone Counties.  
The five classes will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 5, 12, 19, 26, and April 2 at the Stone County Annex, 106 E. 5th St., Galena. To register by phone call the Stone County MU Extension center at (417) 367-68112 or email There is no registration fee for these programs. 
"Participants will learn to do simple exercises to increase strength and balance; additionally, they will learn how to change their environment to reduce fall risks," said Dr. Jim Wirth, human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
In the program, discussion and simple exercises will help participants overcome their concerns about falling and increase their overall strength and balance. The program is designed for adults who are able to move about and problem solve.
"Up to 50 percent of Americans over the age of 65 who live independently experience a fear of falling. When older adults limit their activity due to this fear, it can reduce their mobility and independence, affecting quality of life and actually increases the risk of future falls," said Wirth.
For 100 years, MU Extension has engaged Missourians in relevant programs based on University of Missouri research. The year 2014 marks the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, which formalized the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service, a national network whose purpose is to extend university-based knowledge beyond the campus.
University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at


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