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Bureau County Senior Center offers balance program

PRINCETON — The Bureau County Senior Center will host a new program to help area senior citizens who have concerns with physical balance.

Bureau County Senior Center Director Denise Ihrig said the new program, “A Matter of Balance,” is an eight-week course which begins Feb. 5, meets twice a week and ends Feb. 28. Sessions will be held Wednesdays and Fridays, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the senior center, 16 W. Marion St. in Princeton. Pre-registration is required with a suggested donation of $10 to cover cost of workbooks, Ihrig said.

The program is conducted through the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging and its program coordinator, Jennifer Boedeker.

On Thursday, Boedeker said this program teaches and encourages older adults to talk openly with their families and physicians about any balancing issues. Typically, the program does not encourage other family members or friends to attend the sessions with the seniors, but exceptions have been made in certain situations, she said.

The Princeton sessions will have the same two trained coaches for all eight sessions, with one of those coaches being Debbie Lindberg, staff member at the Bureau County Senior Center, Boedeker said. The sessions are definitely open to the public and not limited to people who have previously used the services and programs of the senior center.

Each of the eight sessions uses a format of group discussion, problem–solving strategies, videos and gentle physical exercise, Boedeker said. Older adults learn positive coping methods to reduce fear of falling and remain active and independent. Participants will become more confident about managing falls by believing they can increase their strength, find ways to reduce falls, and protect themselves if they do fall.

As another benefit to the program, participants have reported they have increased the amount they exercise on a regular basis, Boedeker said.

For more information or to register for the class, contact Lindberg at 815-879-3981.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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