For more information about the author, click to view their website: Fyzcial Balance and Therapy Centers
Having good balance is a critical component of healthy aging. Everyday activities like reaching for your coffee cup, bending down to pick up the paper, putting on your shoes, and getting up from a chair require subtle shifts in your body's weight distribution. A healthy sense of balance allows you to hold your position or move at will during these weight fluctuations without falling.
Gravity is constantly pulling you downward, giving you the tendency to fall, but your ability to balance prevents this from happening. Balance control is a complex physiological process and, just as with muscles, if you don't use it, you lose it. As the body ages, muscle strength, joint range of motion, and reaction time all decrease. These factors can have a negative effect on an older persons balance control and may lead to balance dysfunction a factor linked to falls among the elderly.
Falls from poor balance can cause serious, and even life-threatening, injuries. In fact, according to the CDC, accidental falls are the leading cause of death among older adults. Each year, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls, and the risk of falling increases proportionately with age at80 years, over half of seniors fall annually1. Recovery from a fall can sometimes take at least a year in a long-term facility, with some patients never returning to their homes. Among this age group, falls are the number one cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence, and injury deaths. Most of the fractures caused by falling are in the arm, hand, ankle, spine, pelvis, and hip, with hip fractures being one of the most serious types of fall injury, often resulting in long-term functional impairment, nursing home admission, and increased mortality One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.
In fact, falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions 40% of those admitted to nursing homes do not return to independent living; 25% die within a year.
These statistics are pretty grim but don' t for a minute think that there's nothing you can do about it or that it wont happen to you. Perhaps you believe that if you limit your activities and become even more sedentary that your chances of falling will decrease (not true!). If you think you can avoid falling as long as you stay at home, know this: The majority of all falls take place inside the home5. Those who do fall are two-to-three-times more likely to fall again, and many people who fall, even if they are not seriously injured, develop a fear of falling.
Injuries from falls, reduced mobility and activity, and the fear of falling can significantly reduce your quality of life, making you dependent on others and taking away your freedom to move and live independently.
But here's the good news: Falls are preventable. Falling is not an inevitable result of aging, and there are steps you can take to improve your balance and decrease your chances of falling.
Muscle strength and flexibility, which are an imperative part of maintaining good balance, decrease with age, especially for sedentary adults, but these can be partially restored with the right physical therapy program.
Studies have shown that attention to certain risk factors, such as impaired balance, can significantly reduce rates of falling. Considerable evidence indicates that the most effective fall reduction programs involve systematic fall risk assessment and targeted interventions6.
Additional research reveals that a physical therapist-prescribed exercise program targeting balance and strength can be effective in improving a number of balance and related outcomes in older people with mild balance impairment.
At FYZICAL, we have a comprehensive Balance Program that includes assessment and evaluation programs, balance retraining, and vestibular rehabilitation. With balance retraining and vestibular rehabilitation, our goal is to improve balance function and visual-motor control, increase general activity levels, and help your body compensate for inner ear disorders. We utilize a state-of-the-art balance machine and our balance therapy programs have a 99% balance improvement success rate.
As balance dysfunction can sometimes cause problems with walking, we also have a Gait Training program. Gait training consists of making sure that your manner of walking is as effective, sure-footed, and safe as it possibly can be. A balanced, steady gait helps in the prevention of falls and injuries. Strength, endurance, motion, balance, and coordination are all components of an effective gait and our certified physical therapists work with patients to help them reach their goal of safe mobility.
Improving your balance can reduce your risk of falling, so make it a priority to get a balance assessment test from your doctor or a certified Physical Therapist. Then, find a physical therapy facility that employs aqua therapy. Once that's complete, a program of physical therapy specifically tailored to your balance needs will be created so you can begin your quest to regain your footing, your confidence, and your freedom.
1 Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html
3 Hip Fractures Among Older Adults, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreaionalSafety/Falls/adulthipfx.html
4 How Often Falls Occur, Learn Not to Fall, http://www.learnnottofall.com/content/fall-facts/how-often.jsp
5 Where Seniors Fall, Learn Not to Fall,http://www.learnnottofall.com/content/fall-facts/where-seniors-fall.jsp6 Judy A. Stevens, A CDC Compendium of Effective Fall Interventions: What Works for Community-Dwelling Older Adults,2nd Edition (Atlanta: CDC, 2010),1.
7 Xiao Jing Yang, et al., Effectiveness of a Targeted Exercise Intervention in Reversing Older Peoples Mild Balance Dysfunction: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Physical Therapy, 92 (2012).
8 Noh DK, et al., The Effect of Aquatic Therapy on Postural Balance and Muscle Strength in Stroke Survivors A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial, PubMed: ClinRehabil, 2088 (10-11),http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18955428
9 MelissaGaskil, Finding the Way,TodayinPT.com
Often the hardest part of doing something new is getting started, and that's especially true about exercise. This article from AARP makes it easy to get started with the most important exercise to help you age healthy: squats. Five or ten squats are easy to do while you wait for the coffee to brew or the microwave to finish heating.Even when we're healthy we sometimes need a little extra help with the house or errands. Visit our website at www.rosehillathome.com to learn more about how Rose Hill Stay-at-Home Services can help you or a loved one stay in independent and at home.
Transitioning into an independent living residence in Palmetto, FL can be an exciting new chapter in your life, especially when it comes to revisiting old pastimes that once brought joy and fulfillment. These communities are not just about comfortable living; they are also about rekindling passions and enjoying the leisure activities that you love. Here are four ways to rediscover and reengage with your old hobbies, making the most of the amenities and the like-minded company your new home offers.Join Community Clubs or GroupsMost independent living residences boast a variety of clubs and groups designed to cater to the diverse interests of their residents. Whether you once had a love for painting, gardening, or chess, there is likely a club within your retirement community where you can reconnect with that interest. These groups are fantastic for socializing and sharing your passion with others who have similar hobbies. You can also learn new techniques, share your knowledge, and perhaps even take on leadership roles within the club, helping to organize events and activities.Take Advantage of On-site AmenitiesYour independent living residence in Palmetto, FL is likely equipped with a range of amenities designed to enhance your lifestyle and leisure time. If you used to enjoy swimming, for example, the on-site pool is not just for exercise; it can be a place to get back into the rhythm of swimming laps or even teach others. Libraries, craft rooms, and woodworking shops also offer spaces to reignite your love for reading, crafting, or building. These amenities are included in your living experience, so make the most of them by dedicating time to indulge in your hobbies.Explore Educational OpportunitiesLearning never stops, and as you age, you might find that you have a deeper appreciation for acquiring new knowledge and skills related to your hobbies. Look for educational opportunities offered within your community, such as workshops, lectures, or classes. These can be particularly beneficial if you are looking to brush up on skills or dive deeper into a hobby that you have not pursued in a while. Whether it is a writing workshop to reawaken your love for storytelling or art classes to refine your painting technique, these learning opportunities can be both fulfilling and enjoyable.Create a Hobby Haven in Your ResidenceYour personal space within an independent living community can be transformed into a haven for your hobbies. Carve out a corner of your apartment for a reading nook, set up a small studio for your painting, or organize a space for your knitting or sewing. Having a dedicated space for your hobbies can inspire you to spend more time on them. Decorate this area with items that motivate you, such as inspiring quotes, images, or anything that reminds you of the joy your hobbies bring. This personalization can make your living space feel even more like home.Enhancing Your LifeRediscovering your hobbies in an independent living community in Palmetto, FL is not only about entertainment but also about enhancing your quality of life. Engaging in leisure activities that you are passionate about can boost your mood, keep your mind sharp, and provide a sense of accomplishment. These communities offer the perfect backdrop to reconnect with your interests, meet others who share them, and add a new level of enjoyment to your daily routine. So, take the first step, explore the options available within your community, and relish in the hobbies that make your heart sing.
Life in a retirement care home in Fruitville, FL can be rich with small, daily pleasures that enhance your experience of aging gracefully. It is not just about the care you receive but also about the simple joys that can be found throughout your day. As you settle into this next phase, take time to notice and appreciate the myriad little things that contribute to a contented and fulfilling lifestyle.The Serenity of NatureFruitvilles natural beauty is never far from reach, even within the confines of a retirement community. Start your morning with a stroll through the landscaped gardens, where the gentle rustle of leaves and the cheerful chirping of birds can be a daily delight. Sit by a pond and watch the sun glitter on the water, or simply admire the vibrant flowers and plants that change with the seasons. These moments of connection with nature can bring a sense of peace and grounding to your day.Culinary DelightsDining in a retirement community does not have to mean giving up on great food. Most communities take pride in offering a range of dining options that cater to diverse tastes and dietary needs. Whether it is a fruit tart that tastes just like the one your loved one used to make or a new international dish you have never tried before, the pleasure of a good meal shared with friends can be a highlight of your day. Look forward to themed dinner nights or cooking demonstrations that add a dash of excitement to the dining experience.Engaging ActivitiesEvery day presents new opportunities to engage in activities that spark joy and interest. From art classes that unleash your creativity to book clubs that open up worlds within pages, these activities are designed to keep you stimulated and connected. Celebrate your wins during game nights, share stories during social hours, and enjoy performances by visiting artists. Embrace these experiences, as they are not just about passing the time but about enriching your life with fun and learning.Personalized ComfortWithin the walls of your private residence in the retirement care home, take pleasure in creating a space that reflects your personal taste and history. Hang pictures of fond memories, arrange your favorite books on the shelf, or keep a small garden of potted plants. Enjoy the comfort of having a space that is uniquely yours, where you can retreat for quiet contemplation or to indulge in hobbies. Personal touches can make your living space a true home, providing a sanctuary that is both comforting and familiar.Finding What Makes You HappyLiving in a retirement care home in Fruitville, FL, is about embracing the present and finding joy in everyday experiences. It is in these small thingsthe warmth of the sun on your skin, the laughter shared over a meal, the satisfaction of finishing a crossword puzzlethat lifes beauty is often the most vivid. Take the time to enjoy these simple pleasures, and you will find that life in a retirement community can be as rich and fulfilling as you make it. Remember, happiness often lies in the smallest details.