Medical City Fort Worth March 22, 2016

More than two million older Americans are treated in emergency rooms annually due to fall injuries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Fred Shipley of Weatherford, 89, was among those statistics last year when he tripped and fell in his garage, resulting in a hip fracture. After undergoing hip replacement surgery he, like many other older adults, developed a fear of falling which sometimes limited his activities.

“I’m very careful where I step, how I turn,” Shipley said. “And, I’m always looking for support somewhere.”

That’s why he’s helping promote the free “A Matter of Balance” program at Medical City Fort Worth of Fort Worth, 900 8th Ave. in Fort Worth.

“I’m retired and interested now mostly in boating, but I’ve not been able to do that very successfully since I’ve fallen,” Shipley said. “Hopefully, some more training in balance and exercising will help me achieve my goal of getting back to boating.”

A Matter of Balance is a nationally recognized eight-week program offering practical strategies and exercises to help seniors improve balance, reduce fall hazards in the home and increase activity levels. The program offers two-hour classes once a week for eight weeks, led by certified rehabilitation instructors at Medical City Fort Worth.

Orthopedic surgeon Thad Dean, DO, says he cares for many patients who have had hip fractures or broken bones from falls.

“The number of falls we are seeing each year is increasing,” Dr. Dean said. “Falls can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life, as well as on the life of their family. It’s a very common thing to have issues with balance after surgeries for hip fractures or hip replacement.”

Dr. Dean says the “A Matter of Balance” program is a good option to help some of his patients return to a level of activity that is safe and to help prevent them from having further issues with falls.

Registration for “A Matter of Balance” is available by phone, toll free, at (855) 807-5292 or you can register online. A Matter of Balance is a collaborative effort of Senior Citizen Services, Tarrant County Public Health and Medical City Fort Worth of Fort Worth. Generous funding is provided by United Way and Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County. For more information: www.scstc.org.