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For Immediate Release

Volunteer Coaches Needed to Help Prevent Falls in Older Adults

Santa Rosa, CA  –  December 20, 2017  –  Santa Rosa, CA -- Falls are the #1 reason that Sonoma County seniors go to the emergency room. Fracturing a hip or spraining a wrist means a long rehabilitation, which can decrease seniors’ quality of life or even prevent them from living independently in their own homes. 

To prevent falls, the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) offers the nationally acclaimed program, A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls. Each A Matter of Balance class series is eight, two-hour classes, led by two volunteer coaches at locations throughout Sonoma County.

Matter of balance logo

To lead the classes, trained volunteer coaches who want to help older adults improve balance and stay healthy are needed. A one-day training to become a certified coach will be offered Wednesday, January 10, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Human Services Department Adult and Aging Division, 3725 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa. To reserve a spot in the one-day training, volunteers can contact the Program Coordinator for A Matter of Balance at djacoby@schsd.org or (707) 565-5936. The training is hosted by AAA and RSVP Sonoma through North Coast Opportunities, Inc. Volunteer Network.

“We don’t have to accept falling as a ‘normal’ part of aging and can take action to see that it’s not,” says Adult and Aging Division Director Ana Bagtas. “Coaches tell us how satisfying it is to I see older adults gain physical confidence and boost their sense of optimism, all while having fun during the classes.” Coaches lead at least two class series within a year after certification. 

Volunteers learn how to teach practical coping strategies to both reduce fear of falling and to diminish the risk of falling, through group discussions, mutual problem solving and lifestyle strategies that promote safety, exercises to improve strength, coordination and balance, and how to evaluate home safety. 

While coaches are trained in group facilitation skills, Bagtas says, “It’s helpful if they come to training with good communication and interpersonal skills and the physical ability to perform the low-intensity exercises they will teach.”

The Sonoma County A Matter of Balance curriculum is based on Fear of Falling: A Matter of Balance and used by permission of Boston University. 

 

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Contact Information

Communications Manager
Human Services Department
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Addresses
Address
3600 Westwind Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.508155, -122.795028
Mailing Address
PO Box 1539
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
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