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In response to Edgar Allen Beem’s recent column on balance (“The Universal Notebook: On balance, I have a lot of work to do”), the Agewell Programs at Southern Maine Agency on Aging wanted to weigh in. Beem’s humorous and relatable take on this serious issue highlights the importance of falls prevention as we age. Many believe falling is simply “part of aging,” but it’s something that can often be prevented.
Beem’s trial with yoga is an excellent introduction to begin tackling the problem of creaky joints, and we’d also suggest folks check out one of SMAA’s evidence-based programs aimed specifically at managing balance and falls:
• “A Matter of Balance” brings concerns about falling and real-life solutions to the forefront. The interactive sessions teach strategies to change attitudes toward falls, introduce a gentle exercise program to improve balance and home safety tips.
• “Tai Chi for Health & Balance” may be an answer for those looking for a friendlier way to counter changes in balance. Specifically designed to be easy on the joints, it can be particularly effective at preventing falls and managing arthritis symptoms. In tai chi, less is more, and the slow, gentle motions focus on breathing.
We invite Beem, and those who found themselves nodding their agreement, to take one of our workshops. We’d venture to say he’ll be steady in mountain pose before long.
Nicole K. Petit
Agewell Programs coordinator
Southern Maine Agency on Aging