Seniors in Portland, Maine discuss the value of A Matter of Balance in their daily lives.
Keeping housing affordable and safe for seniors is sometimes as simple as finding ways to improve the safety of the places that seniors already live. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults aged 65 and older falls each year. Falling is the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors.
It's also the single biggest reason why seniors end up moving from their homes and into assisted living environments where they feel safer. That move often comes at a significant financial cost, one that not all seniors can bear. But if we can provide seniors with improved balance and greater confidence in their mobility, we can often delay that transition or avoid it altogether.
We're proud to be working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Canvas Health, and HealthEast Care System on a two-part approach to tackle this problem in our senior residences.
The first component involves the installation of assistive devices in areas of high-risk for slips and falls. Grab bars are being strategically placed in restrooms at our senior apartments to help seniors maintain their balance during everyday tasks. Aegis Therapies
will be conducting presentations for our residents that instruct residents on the proper use of grab bars. We're also launching a pilot project at one of our properties that will allow seniors, at nominal cost, to have access to a pendant alert system that summons assistance quickly in the event a senior cannot reach their telephone.
The second component involves a partnership with Canvas Health and HealthEast to offer eight-week safety improvement classes to our senior residents. These small-group courses, called "A Matter of Balance,"
teach exercises for strength-building and balance, encourage physical activity, and use behavioral approaches to reduce the fear of falling.
The cost of this program is underwritten in part by a Community Service / Community Service Development (CS/SD) grant from DHS. More information can be found on their website
We are grateful to DHS and to the taxpayers of Minnesota for their investment in the well-being of our older residents. We're hopeful that these programs will work together to provide our senior residents with the safety and security they need in the homes they already enjoy.