As Kerri, one of our newer staff additions cheerfully asks another patient to complete our Balance Assessment Questionnaire, it reminds me of the great articles I read this weekend in the New York Times about the soaring impact of falls on older adults.
I highly recommend reading “Bracing for Falls of a Nation”, “A Tiny Stumble, A Life Upended”, and “Steps to Avoid An Accident”. These articles are great reminders to all of us about the importance of putting into action the things that can help prevent falls no matter what our age but particularly if we’re over 65.
What You Can Do to Prevent Falls?
Particularly important is the well-researched information about the benefits of exercise and taking Vitamin D to keep us fit and strong.
One type of exercise that is particularly helpful is Tai Chi. This ancient Chinese Martial Art was developed for defense and health benefits. Not only does it improve flexibility and balance, it also enhances lower extremity strength and improves postural stability according to the Journal of Gerontology which conducted a randomized control trial in 2005. Older adults are less likely to injure themselves if they do fall if they participate in exercises that improve balance and strength.
Taking Vitamin D also helps improves muscle strength and balance and staying hydrated is important for those at risk for low blood pressure to prevent dizziness and falls.
At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we’ve taken a comprehensive approach to keep our older patients from falling with our “In Balance” Fall Prevention Program. The Balance Assessment is the first tool we use to assess each person over 65 that walks through our doors. Patients who are at risk receive a full balance assessment, information, and devices that will help them live healthier, longer lives.
Call us at 206-368-7000, if you had a fall in the past year or other concerns about balance.