If you have ever seen the Life Alert commercials then you have a picture in your mind of an elderly lady laying on the floor desperately trying to get up only to discover she is not able to.
Whether she is just weak, has broken a hip or caused some other serious injury this is a major concern for our elderly patients.
Working with seniors over many years it has become apparent that the greatest common fear is the fear of falling. This is not unreasonable. According to the CDC falls are the leading cause of injuries in seniors and 1/3 of all adults over 65 will fall this year. Each fall is potentially life changing.
Falls can cause injury or fractures that can lead to multiple surgeries and lengthy hospital stays.
Falls often lead to hospitalizations due to serious injuries or fractures, often sending you or a loved one to move into an assisted living center. In the most severe cases a fall can shorten your life span and lead to early death.
The NCOA- National Council on Aging states that:
What happens if you do survive a fall? How will you get “back to normal”? I am here to tell you that it doesn’t just happen magically or automatically.
If the fall, injury and hospitalization isn’t bad enough, frequent falls lead to loss of independence, limits in your daily activities, and increases your reliance on friends and family members to complete basic everyday tasks. How humiliating is it to ask someone to get your groceries or drive you to the doctors office?
Falls can shake your confidence, disrupt your normal walking patterns and lead to using a cane or walker just to get around. For those who are too stubborn or hard headed to use a device the fall and injury cycle continues to repeat often with dire consequences.
So what exactly is “balance”?
In its most basic definition it is the ability to remain upright and in control of your body movements.
Balance is vital to normal everyday life activities. Most of the time balance control is automatic.
There are three major components or systems for balance control:
- We have sources of sensation that tell you about your body’s position relative to your environment. (Basically, your body’s position in space).
- Your brain’s ability to process this information as it comes in from your eyes, ears and body.
- Your muscles for strength and for coordinating the movements required to maintain balance.
If you have ever experienced a spinning sensation or dizziness …stumbled when you walked, fallen…or just been off balance, like you’re walking on a boat deck, then you know what I am talking about. It means one if not all three of these systems are not working properly.
If you would like a free check list to reduce falls at the house then CLICK HERE.
Why do we lose our balance and fall?
There are several reasons why people lose their balance as they age but here are the most common:
- Vision- changes to our vision whether it is an old prescription or development of macular degeneration our brain uses the eyes to give useful information about the environment. Keeping our eyes in top shape and our prescription updated is key.
- Weakness– over time we all lose muscle mass, the term is called sarcopenia. If we don’t exercise regularly to maintain strength and muscle mass it makes it harder and harder to climb stairs, get out of low chairs and pick up our feet when we walk. As the muscles of the hips and legs become weaker our risk of falls increases. Not to mention the inability to get up off the floor by ourselves after a fall, provided you are not injured.
- Poor reaction time– some falls can’t be prevented but often I hear that the fall occurred because something got in their way (cat or dog) or their feet got “tangled” in the carpet, throw rug, extension cord, you name it. Or they missed a small step and could not maintain control.
While there are other reasons people fall these are some of the most common reasons that can be managed.
What can be done to treat balance and dizziness problems successfully thus reducing falls and the likelihood of becoming a statistic?
- Work on improving your balance with specific challenges and activities.
- Learn how to walk normally again to build your confidence.
- Perform strengthening and endurance exercises, including postural retraining, coordination and flexibility.
- Specific exercises which involve eye, head and body movements, to get rid of the “swimming sensations”.
This is where we come in. As experts in the muscular system we can assess and then design a plan to improve your balance and help prevent falls. Actually I have been doing this for over 23 years.
Because my parents and grandmother are still living and not getting any younger, the importance of maintaining strength and preventing falls takes on a personal relevance for me and I want to help you as well.
I shared some of the fall statistics at the beginning of this letter how 1/3 of all adults over 65 will fall this year , every 11 seconds someone is treated in the hospital for a fall, every 19 minutes someone dies from a fall or fall related issues
…don’t become a statistic.
Let us help.
At MOSS Rehabilitation Center we make it easy for you to get started. We even have a simple 3 step process.
1. Schedule a FREE NO Obligation, Discovery Visit with one of our experts. During this visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues. This is a safe and confidential visit, you can trust that your safety and privacy is important to us.
2. Receive a Customized (Individualized) Treatment Plan. Based on your free discovery visit, we will put together a custom, unique to you plan that will address all of your nagging pains and issues. The goal is to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible while also addressing your issues for the long term.
3. Get Your Life Back and Do What You Love. The best result for us is a patient who tells us they can finally do what they love without the constant pain, stress, or issue they were facing. Together we can get you back to living life without worry.
If you are looking for guidance and need more information to prevent falls and learn How To Stay Out Of A Nursing Home FOREVER then call our office 817-220-MOSS (6677) to request my 100% FREE Report Top 8 Secrets To Improve Your Balance And Prevent Falls.
Or if you want the report right now click the image below to download it.
To Your Health,
PS. If you or someone you know is suffering with frequent falls, stumbling and poor balance then give us a call 817-220-MOSS (6677) to schedule a FREE No Obligation Discovery Visit