Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Good afternoon everyone. Today I'd like to talk about how we can minimize declining balance and stability as we age.
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34 Replies
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Declining balance is something we really don't think about until we notice it on a personal level. Does anybody agree with that?
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Let's look at some statistics
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Elephant
18 Jan
What if you have multiple titanium implants, such as hips. I have been riddled with surgical implants.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Hi Bill
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
According to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 adults over age 65 fall each year.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Do you feel the implants have affected your balance?
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Every year 10,000 seniors die as a result of a fall
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
50% of those who fall cannot return home or live independently after their injuries
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Falls account for 87% of all fractures in older adults
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
These are significant and scary statistics, but we can do something about it.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
There are three systems of balance -somatosensory- provides information about the surface we are standing on by way of pressure receptors in our skin and proprioceptors in our muscles with the medicine joints. -visual system- provides information about the relationship of the head and eyes to surrounding objects. -vestibular system - located in the inner ear and provides information about head movements relative to gravity as well as direction and speed of movement as fluid moves during head motion.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
There are reasons for the declines in balance that we cannot control as well as things we can control
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Reasons for decline imbalance that we cannot control are -declining vision -inner ear disturbances -vertigo sensation that you or your environment is moving or spinning -medications
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
So what are the factors that we can control to minimize declines and balance?
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Posture and core stability -shoulders over hips head squared over the shoulders Loss of strength -15 to 20% per decade after age 50 - weak muscles are less able to maintain balance and stop a fall before it happens Loss of flexibility -tight and flexible muscles increase the chance of a fall especially when reaching or bending out of one's range of motion Loss of kinesthetic awareness -body's ability to understand and sense where it is in space decreases -decrease in depth perception -unsteadiness and lack of agility may ultimately lead to a fall Lack of mindfulness Unnecessary hazards in the environment
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
That's quite a few factors that we have control over, so we have the control to minimize declining balance
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
The problem is, and I'm sure many of you will agree, that we don't think about it until we're actually there.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
The key is to set realistic goals to improve our balance, or to stop it from declining
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
The good news is that losses can be reversed at any age!
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
So let's go back to the goals
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Last week I talked about SMART goals
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time bound
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
And remember always get clearance from your physician before starting any type of exercise program.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
So let me give you a few examples.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
One common way to improve balance is single leg stance.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Using our smart goals system let's create an example, feel free to chime in if you'd like.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
First always remember, when we're working on balance we we should have something to hold on to without leaning, in case we need it. We don't want to lean on because that will take us away from our center, we just want to use it for stability to avoid falling.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Remember the first full of balance is posture, ears over shoulders shoulders over hips.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Here's our smart scenario; Specific- to successfully stand on one foot for 10 seconds after 4 weeks of practice. Measurable - 10 seconds Attainable - I can already stand on one foot for 5 seconds Realistic - if I can already stand on one foot for 5 seconds I'm sure I can stand on one foot for 10 seconds with practice Time bound- I'm getting myself a four weeks to get there.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
This is how we reach our goals, one little step at a time. And if we have a setback, that's okay we're human, get right back on track.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
And once we reach one little smart goal, we start working on another one. This isn't to say that we shouldn't have multiple goals, but realistic goals are ones that you can see yourself achieving and following through the steps that need to be done in order to reach the goal. If you can't see yourself doing it then it's not realistic.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
I mentioned mindfulness earlier, this involves paying attention as we move especially. Unfortunately not paying attention accounts for a large percentage of falls. Do your best to stay mindful and everything you do.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Hazards in the environment. Make sure you're living space is free from clutter, things that you might trip over.
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Tiffany FiteAuthor
18 Jan
Taking small steps towards better balance will help you to reduce your risk of falling. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
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