BIDDEFORD — Between January and March, certified volunteer instructors with the Agewell program* of Southern Maine Agency on Aging will lead multiple sessions of wellness classes. The classes are designed for adults 60 and over with the goal to improve their overall health and wellness, especially their balance and decrease chances of falling.

Current data shows that 1 in 4 adults 65 and over will fall at least once this year, according to a SMAA press release. The fear of falling makes people give up on activities they used to take for granted: shopping, cooking, driving, doing household chores, and or playing weekly pickleball, the release states. This can put a damper also on social connections, leading to a sense of loneliness and social isolation.

The wellness classes designed and delivered by Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s Agewell instructors aim to improve the physical, emotional, and mental health of the older members of our communities. To aid to their safety, the Agewell winter classes scheduled between January and March will be delivered over Zoom: a safe and convenient way for adults 60 and over to stay active, improve their balance and stamina, and foster new social connections — all from the comfort of their home.

The winter session includes diverse series of workshops: Tai Chi for Health and Balance, A Matter of Balance, and Yoga for Healthy Aging begin just around mid-January and Gentle Exercise will begin later in the winter. While each class has its own benefits and people should consider signing up for more than one class, the Agewell instructors have set up a one-hour Wellness Sampler in January to give more insight on the benefits of each one of these classes. The sample classes, which will be every Tuesday (1-2 p.m.), will also demonstrate what participants can expect during the full-length class session.

Agewell classes are listed on Southern Maine Agency on aging website’s events page (smaaa.org/events.html), where people can also register. For more information, email [email protected] or call 207-396-6578.

The Southern Maine Agency on Aging offers resources, services and information to empower older adults, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers in Cumberland and York counties. To learn more visit smaaa.org or call 207-396-6500