Matter of Balance Completed at Adult Ed
Matter of Balance is an evidence based program from Boston University that has proven itself to prevent falls by improving balance, making your environment safe, and dispelling the fear of falling. We discuss risk factors in your environment and risk factors due to personal health issues. Fun sensible exercises are taught to strengthen muscles and increase balance.
Bonnie Pratt is a trained instructor and led the most recent class held in Houlton. “I took the Matter of Balance training four years ago and fell in love with the program. This is the fourth group I have taught and each group is unique and rewarding. They make me feel like I have found my niche! I was pretty much motivated by saving money, saving someone going to the hospital, saving someone going to the Nursing Home until earlier this year. I called my mother in Gray, Maine. When she answered the phone, I thought she was laughing at her little dog. I soon realized she was hysterical. She had just fallen and broken her arm. I will never forget that cry. I am now motivated to save someone from that kind of pain!”
Bonnie collaborated with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Houlton/Hodgdon Adult & Community Education to bring the program to the Houlton Higher Education Center. “We were looking to expand our senior program, “stated Joe Fagnant, Director of Adult Education. “We know we have a population of seniors that we want to serve with education and special programs. Our goal is to offer daytime enrichment for seniors so that they meet with each other, learn some helpful skills, and get out and about to do things that may be physical or educational.”
“I am going for two days of training in Portland in December, “continued Pratt, “I am looking forward to that update on new information, and rule changes, and any improvements. It has been so convenient to have a room for a class at the Houlton Higher Education Center and to work with Adult Education. The staff’s Monday morning hellos, smiles, offers to help, arranging our room, just starts your week off right. They have definitely made us feel like part of them.”
The classes were held for eight weeks, one day a week, for two hours. Helena Nickerson from Houlton Regional Hospital was also a guest speaker. She did a wonderful presentation on the importance of healthy food, fiber, and water.
A certificate of completion was presented by Phil Bosse, the State Office Representative for U.S. Senator Susan Collins, to each one completing the class. Mr. Bosse shared his personal story of his mother falling, going into a nursing home, training with Matter of Balance, and now living back on her own. “I enjoy doing these certificate presentations for Matter of Balance. I had a personal connection to the program. I also want to share that The Senator is the Chair of the Special Committee on Aging. She has been supportive of Matter of Balance and other programs to help seniors, “remarked Bosse.
He shared materials from the US Senate Special Committee on Aging including discussing phone-based schemes and financial schemes that are targeting older Americans. Scammers use deceptive means to get your money and personal information. He stressed that they are not your friend and to hang up the phone! There is a U.S. Senior Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470. He encouraged everyone in the area to use that hotline to report any form of scams they come across.
The goal of these special programs is to help our aging population stay connected to the community, receive help they need, and gather to discuss topics that are much needed. The Houlton/Hodgdon Adult & Community Education program has marketed their ACESeniors program as a way to meet some of these needs. This special community education program takes place during the day time and has consisted of Tai Chi, Matter of Balance, art and paper craft classes, stained glass class, and is scheduled to expand for the 2017 program year.
“We are working on continuing offering Matter of Balance, Tai Chi, a new strength program called Bone Builders, and several other seminars for seniors sponsored by RSVP”, Fagnant added. “A new schedule is being worked on with RSVP and Aroostook Agency on Aging. I know we can offer some great opportunities to cover topics in wellness, health, safety, and enrichment.” For more information about future programs or to be added to interest lists for any classes, stop by the Houlton Higher Education Center and talk to a representative in adult education or call 521-3100 ext 5.
Matter of Balance participants received certificates from Phil Bosse, State Office Representative for Senator Susan Collins. Seated is instructor Bonnie Pratt, row 1 Philip Bosse, Thelma Henderson, Rae Johnston, Gisela Blake (class helper). Row 2 Joe Fagnant, Director of Adult Education, Virginia McLaughlin, Doris Gardiner, Christine McPherson, RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, Leola Bishop, Elva Coburn, Maureen Theriault. Absent from photo was Vera Scott, Mildred Madigan, Kathryn Stoton and Marlene Hofstetter.
Posted by Joe Fagnant on November 18, 2016