Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

June 6, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Falls are not a natural part of aging – they are preventable! To address this issue, the Rockland County Department of Health offers A Matter of Balance, a proven, award-winning fall prevention program.

The program uses volunteer coaches to teach the eight two-hour sessions. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to consider becoming trained as A Matter of Balance volunteer coaches.

Coaches help participants become more confident about managing falls, help them identify ways to reduce falls, and lead exercises to help increase strength and balance. To be a coach, all you need is good communication and interpersonal skills; enthusiasm, dependability, and a willingness to lead small groups of older adults; and the ability to lead low to moderate level exercise. You must be available to coach a class twice a year.

The next free two-day training is on Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26, from 9 am – 1 pm in Pomona. "This is a great chance to give back to the community in an important way, by helping older adults manage their concerns about falls and increase their physical activity," said Dr. Ruppert.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), one in four people 65 and older fall each year. One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or be independent. In addition, many older adults are afraid of falling, which often limits their activities. This can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater.

For more information and to register for the A Matter of Balance volunteer coach training, call the Health Department at (845) 364-2501.