Free Tai Chi and balance workshops help seniors reduce risk of falling in Lee County

Registration now open for free programs from Area Agency on Aging
AAASWFL's balance improvement classes have been shown to reduce senior falls.
AAASWFL's balance improvement classes have been shown to reduce senior falls.
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Fort Myers - Florida - US


FORT MYERS, Fla. - Dec. 19, 2018 - PRLog -- Did you know that falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among seniors in the United States?  To assist local seniors in preventing falls, the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is offering a three free balance and falls prevention programs starting in January.   Classes include Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance and A Matter of Balance.  Both programs are evidence-based courses designed to assist older adults with balance, movement, and falls prevention.

Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance is a 12-week basic beginner falls-prevention workshop where participants learn and practice Tai Chi movements.  Tai Chi is a low-impact martial art that was originally developed for self-defense but is now considered beneficial for many health conditions. The courses will be offered at two locations: Peace Lutheran Church (15840 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers) and Grow-Within (10251 Metro Pkwy., Ste 121, Fort Myers).  Both sessions start on Jan. 15 and meet Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 4.

A Matter of Balance is an award-winning eight-week program that emphasizes practical strategies to manage falls.  The workshops will be offered on Wednesdays starting Jan. 9 at Hope Healthpark (9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers).

Class sizes are limited and advance registration is required.  For more information or to register, call Sherry Young at AAASWFL at 866-413-5337 or email

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one in four seniors fall each year.  High fall rates among older adults are the result of physiological changes, including a loss of balance, muscle strength and stability issues.  Data from the Florida Department of Health indicates that falls accounted for 2.6% of senior deaths in Southwest Florida in 2016.

"A lot of older adults are afraid of falling and begin to limit their activity because of that fear," explains Sherry Young, Health & Wellness Coordinator at AAASWFL.  "Less activity leads to less independence and in many cases, poorer physical health. Our health and wellness workshops help restore confidence and independence for seniors."

Funding for Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance and A Matter of Balance is provided through the Older Americans Act title III-D and administrated through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida ( is a nonprofit organization serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties.  Celebrating its 40th year in Southwest Florida, AAASWFL's mission is to connect older adults and adults with disabilities to resources and assistance for living safely with independence and dignity. AAASWFL is the state's designated Aging and Disability Resource Center for Southwest Florida.   More information about AAASWFL is available at or by calling the toll-free Elder Helpline at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER).

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