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Volunteer Opportunity: A Matter of Balance Coaches

Want to make a difference in the lives of older adults in your community? Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri is seeking volunteers intested in being trained as A Matter of Balance Coaches. What is A Matter of Balance (MOB)?

A Matter of Balance is an evidence-based structured group intervention program, designed to reduce fear of falling and falling incidences. It is targeted at community-dwelling adults 60 years or older. Structured discussions and exercises allow participants to learn that fear of falling is controllable, help them set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn exercises to improve strength, gait, balance and mood, thereby reducing episodes of falls. The goal of MOB is to reduce fear of falling, stop the fear of falling cycle, and increase activity levels among older adults. Older adults are among our most vulnerable neighbors and improving their physical activity enables them to access health services and other resources such as food at food pantries.

Typical A Matter of Balance courses involve 8- two-hour sessions for a small group of 8 -12 participants. Two trained coaches, typically volunteers, give the two-hour MOB classes once per week for 8 weeks or twice per week for four weeks. Master Trainers, who would have received training at Maine Health, train coaches who in turn hold the MOB classes. 

Volunteer Coach Qualifications

Criteria for leadership

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • Dependability
  • Willingness to lead a small group
  • Interest in working with older adults
  • Life experiences valued- with education or health care experience a plus
  • Ability to perform range of motion and low level endurance exercises
  • Ability to carry up to 20lbs

Training Expectations

  • Attend eight hours of coach training and earn A Matter of Balance Certification.
  • Attend 2.5hours of coach training update annually.
  • Agree to coach two Matter of Balance classes within one year of certification.

Classroom Responsibilities

  • Two coaches are required to teach the class to participants
  • Preparing for each class by reviewing the Matter of Balance manual and materials.
  • Organize the class with supplies and refreshments
  • Present the class according to the directions, training and materials provided
  • Encourage interactive discussion about the concept and skills presented.
  • Demonstrate and coach the exercises outlined in the Matter of Balance Program.
  • Monitor and connect with each participant
  • Promote socialization and a solution-oriented environment among the participants.
  • Have fun.

Confidentiality, Communication, & Record Keeping

  • All participant information is confidential. Each coach will sign “A pledge of Confidentiality”
  • The Master Trainer will provide support and mentoring to each coach.
  • Class site and emergency contact information will be provided to each coach.
  • Coaches are required to report any injury, illness or concerns.
  • Coaches are encouraged to record “Lessons Learned” and share feedback and ideas.

For more information on this exciting volunteer opportunity, please contact Judith Mutamba, Director of Food & Nutrition services at Catholic Charities: or (573) 635-7719.

Catholic Charities partners with Aging Best to offer A Matter of Balance courses in our communities. Aging Best will be holding a training for new volunteer coaches March 25th and 26th in Jefferson City – please contact Judith if you are interested in attending this FREE training.