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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Program Helps Seniors Conquer Fear of Falling: Classes meet from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. The next session begins March 6

Although they might not talk about it, fear of falling is common among older adults, says Molly Roffman, owner and director of StepWISEnow, a balance fitness studio in Briarcliff Manor. The fear can develop as a result of having had a fall, or from hearing about a fall that a friend or family member has had.

StepWISE offers a program to help people manage these fears, Roffman says. A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls is an award-winning, eight-class program that encourages participants to explore their concerns, safely increase their activity level and boost their confidence. Classes meet from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. The next session begins March 6.

“Serious falls are categorized as traumas, and therefore it is not unusual to experience psychological repercussions beyond the physical injury,” Roffman says. “These concerns can manifest as a fear of falling. As a result, people often respond by curtailing their activities to protect against a future fall. But this strategy can backfire. By restricting their activity, they run the risk of becoming isolated, sedentary and depressed, making them weaker both mentally and physically—and therefore more prone to fall again.”

Recommended by the National Council on Aging, A Matter of Balance uses group discussions, films, exercise and strategy building to help participants overcome their fear in order to continue leading full lives, she says.

Location: 325 S. Highland Ave., Ste. 109, Briarcliff Manor, NY. For more info, call 914.292.0602 or visit