ON BALANCE: Those who participate in a Moving for Better Balance class reduce their risk of falling and experience other improvements in well-being, according to research. The YMCA of WNC offers the classes in each of its branches. Photo by Danny Bernstein

Balance is crucial for avoiding falls as we age

Impaired balance brings with it a higher risk of falling and all that a fall can entail. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the No. 1 cause of both injury and death in older adults. State data indicate that the rate of fall-related death and injury is increasing among both men and women and in all age groups 65 and older. But falling isn’t inevitable, and several programs in WNC are working to reduce the number of falls older adults experience, helping avoid injury and boosting quality of life.