Balance and Mobility

Balance and Mobility

STAND Strong

Overview

Three women with their legs and arms stretched out in Yoga class As we age, the possibility of experiencing an injury-inducing fall becomes a much greater concern. Significant research has demonstrated that lifestyle elements such as diet, exercise and medication management all substantially contribute to fall risk among older adults. Eskaton understands that fall prevention begins with helping older adults identify those factors that contribute to fall risk, and continues with finding solutions that help mitigate these factors. 

Download our entire Fall Prevention Booklet, and discover how small modifications to your home and daily routine can substantially lessen your chances of experiencing an injury-inducing fall.


Keeping it in Balance

Falling represents a growing public health concern. Today, one in three adults over the age of sixty-five fall each year. More importantly, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries and the third leading cause of fatal injuries in the U.S. among older adults. As you age, your lifestyle has a profound impact on your fall risk because falling is not a normal part of aging. Try the following tips to reduce your risk of falling.


Move and Groove — “Exercise is optional. Movement is essential,” says Nanci Shaddy, fitness director at O’Connor Woods.

Residents doing aquatic exercises in community indoor pool

  • Low-impact activities such as walking, aquatic exercises or yoga can help you to improve balance.
  • Improving your flexibility and strength can considerably reduce your risk of a fall.
  • Participate in strengthening exercises at least 2 times per week to reverse the effects of muscle loss.

 

Healthy Diet, Sturdy Life — Eating healthy isn’t only good for your heart and brain – it can help you reduce your risk of falling, too!

Heart healthy foods and grains.

  • Filling your diet with proper amounts of protein and energy-giving carbohydrates can help ensure your bones and muscles stay strong.
  • Consume the right amount of minerals and nutrients every day. Calcium and vitamin D are particularly important.
  • A dietitian is a great resource to help you build a customized meal plan.

 

H2O and Go — Drinking enough water every day is especially important for older adults!

Glass of water

  • Dehydration can lead to other symptoms, such as dizziness, fatigue and loss of balance, all which can contribute to a serious, injury-inducing fall.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
  • Limit your intake of caffeinated and sugary drinks.

 

Medications Matter — Your risk for falling increases with the number of medications you take!

An assortment of medications

  • Many medications can cause dizziness, lack of energy, and vision changes.
  • Some combinations of medications can be particularly problematic.
  • Talk to your doctor if your prescriptions are making you feel unsteady on your feet. 

 

Sleep Well to Stand Firm — Physicians have long associated poor sleep with an inflated risk of falling.

Comfortable bed with several pillows

  • Not sleeping well can make you groggy and unfocused.
  • Make sure you get seven to nine hours of restful sleep every night to help keep you as sure-footed as possible.
  • Increasing your exposure to natural sunlight or bright light during the day will help keep your circadian rhythm on point so you can rest better at night. To find more tips on sleep, click here.

 

Safer Haven — Your home should always be a place of security and refuge!

Bedroom

  • By taking steps to ensure your residence is free of clutter and fall-inducing hazards, you can reduce your risk of falling.
  • Voice-first technology like Amazon Alexa or Google Home can assist you by automating your lights and appliances.
  • Home modifications like grab bars and shower chairs can increase the accessibility of your bathroom.

 


Get Moving to Stay Strong in Body and Mind

Resident taking a walk around the communityIt doesn’t take a medical degree to understand that increasing your activity levels can help support your balance, posture and overall mobility. After all, the more you exercise your muscles, the stronger they are. The stronger your muscles, the better they support your body and gait, decreasing your probability of experiencing an injury-inducing fall. However, what might not be as readily evident is the strong correlation between physical exercise and maintaining cognitive (brain) health. Studies have recently shown that the more active and fit an individual is, the less likely they are to experience debilitating cognitive change, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. While it certainly isn’t the only factor that contributes to these and other diagnoses, getting appropriate amounts of exercise certainly goes a long way in fostering and promoting a healthy brain.

Meet Inge Roberts, an Eskaton Village Grass Valley resident living with cognitive change. A power walker of the most energetic sort, Inge came to Eskaton in February of 2017 after receiving her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Recognizing better than most the deep connection between cognitive health and physical exercise, Inge is determined to remain on the move. Read her full story here.

 


In the Blog

The latest in fall prevention tips.

Older adults taking ballet lessons

 


Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, financial, health, social and environmental advice.

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