FALL PREVENTION: BUILDING STRENGTH AND BALANCE

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Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury and death in seniors? As a matter of fact, sources show that approximately one of out every three seniors falls every year.  There are many contributing factors causing this problem, such as, lack of physical activity, vision issues, diseases, such as, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, fogginess from medications, and environmental factors causing tripping and falling.   

Over half of senior falls take place in the home.  Therefore, staying active and consciously focused on fall prevention strategies will help us minimize falling accidents.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Tack rugs to the floor and discard loose throw rugs from your home.
  • Install safety bars, handrails, and place non-stick tape on floors and in the bathroom and tub.
  • Provide good lighting in the home.
  • Keep living quarters clutter-free, and put everything back into place (such as, shoes in the closet) so that they will not become accidents-waiting-to-happen.
  • Stay focused, balanced and consciously aware, when you move around in your home.

For more ideas, refer HERE to an article provided by AgingCare.Com   

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THE BEST PREVENTION

Besides keeping our homes as fall-proof as possible, the other best thing to do is to keep ourselves strong, active, agile, balanced, and springing!  And, there are many exercise programs, ranging from walking to more extensive muscle-strengthening exercises that can do just that. But, did you realize that the lower intensity programs, such as tai chi and qigong, are proving to be just as effective at reducing falling risks in seniors as the higher intensity ones?

 According to a study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers tested the effects of tai chi versus “lower extremity training” (LET), which is a leg-strengthening intensity exercise program. A group of 368 people, who were 60 years+ and who had received medical treatment for a fall, were tested in an exercise program for a six month period.  Half of the group took tai chi classes and the other half took hour-long LET classes.  The results were that, even a year following the training, the participants who had taken the tai chi classes were 50% (fifty percent) LESS LIKELY to have “injury-causing falls,” as compared to the LET participants.

To learn more about the study, click HERE.

To learn more about the benefits of tai chi and qigong, contact Rev Deanne Hodgson, RN.  Deanne teaches tai chi & qigong, plus fall prevention strategies: DeanneHodgson@gmail.com  http://www.appliedtaichi4u.com

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