A MATTER OF BALANCE – Volunteer Lay Leader Model - Course Syllabus

8 two hour sessions, twice a week for 4 consecutive weeks – 16 hour course total


  • Session 1: Introduction to Program
  • •   The focus is on “Concern vs. Fear”. The group is introduced to the concept of helpful and unhelpful beliefs about falls and concerns about falling
  • Session 2: Exploring Thoughts and Concerns about Falling
  • To learn that there are different ways to think about falls and concerns about falls
  • • To realize the importance of recognizing our core beliefs about falls before we are able to change them. Emphasis is on not whether or not I can do it, but HOW can I do it?
  • Session 3: Exercise and Falls Prevention
  • • To understand the importance of exercise in preventing falls
  • • To identify the barriers to exercise
  • • To identify which exercise are best suited for falls prevention
  • • To learn the A Matter of Balance exercises
  • Session 4: Assertiveness and Falls Prevention
  • • To recognize three important physical risk factors for falls: low blood pressure, leg weakness, and poor flexibility/balance
  • • To understand exercises that can be used to prevent falls due to low blood pressure, leg weakness, and poor flexibility/balance
  • • To recognize the relationship between assertive behavior and falls prevention
  • Session 5: Managing Concerns about Falling
  • • To learn how to use Personal Action Planners to start an exercise program
  • • To learn about balance exercises that can be used as part of an individualized exercise program
  • • To recognize misconception and unhelpful thoughts about falling and the effect those thoughts have on feelings and actions
  • • To learn how to shift from self-defeating to self-motivating thoughts
  • Session 6: Recognizing Fall-ty Behavior
  • To determine which activities are and are not fall risk-taking behaviors
  • • To prioritize risk-taking behaviors to be addressed and changed
  • • To identify thoughts that help to change behavior
  • • To learn ways to shift from negative to positive or helpful thinking
  • Session 7: Recognizing Fall Hazards in the Home and Community
  • Participants complete the Home Safety Checklist
  • • To recognize potential fall hazards often present in the home and community
  • • To identify strategies to reduce physical hazards in the home and community
  • • To recognize the relationship between assertive behavior and falls prevention
  • • To learn how to get and down safely from a fall
  • Session 8: Practicing No Fall-ty Habits & Falls Prevention: Putting it All Together
  • To practice assertiveness skills in locating and using resources for falls prevention and seeking help after a fall
  • • To model & practice behaviors in order to eliminate risk-taking behaviors

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“Since my car accident and subsequent brain injury, I have been depressed and isolated at home. Even after participating in just the first six sessions so far, I have shifted my thoughts on balance. I am taking a hold of my life and now I have a better chance to reach my potential. I’m ready to shift from depression to being active and involved. This class is awesome.”