"You can’t regain muscle strength and flexibility."
"Falling is something normal that happens as you get older."
"I don't need to talk to my parent, spouse, or other older adult if I’m concerned about their risk of falling."
"It will hurt their feelings, and it's none of my business."
If you thought there was truth to any of the above statements, you may need to re-think how important balance is.
If not addressed, poor balance can result in a devastating cascade of events.
Among those over 65 years of age, falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries. Falling is just one symptom that may be an indicator that something is wrong and that one should address “that something” immediately.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable. The problem is, if left unaddressed, even the fear of falling, let alone an actual fall, can be paralyzing and results in sedentary lifestyles, where physical fitness is lost and isolation and depression can ensue.
We have to remind ourselves, regardless of age, that balance is one of the components of wellness that may not get as much attention as other areas of our health and wellness regime. However, having good balance can lead lead to improved quality of life, fewer injuries and limit costs associated with falls.
Matter of Balance (MOB) is a nationally recognized, evidenced-based program, developed at the Roybal Center at Boston University, that is building awareness of the importance of balance while teaching people how to prevent falls from occurring.
We here at H.O.M.E. understand the value of such a program and have introduced it to our residents. In fact, a group of residents just graduated from the program last week!
One participant said, "I really enjoyed it. Liz was good at reminding you that if an exercise hurt you shouldn’t do it. And I liked that she empowered us to speak up if our environment was safe, like getting a handrail on the ramp outside."
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 older adults—about 12 million—fall every year in the U.S. The CDC claims that this number is most likely higher due to underreporting.
There is a stigma attached to admitting to a fall, ultimately causing people to not talk about it and missing out on the opportunity to do something to prevent it.
A MOB program offers that space for people to speak about their concerns or fears among others with similar concerns and fears. As a former facilitator of MOB classes, I was privy to the power of being around others experiencing the desire and interest to take charge of their health through MOB.
One participant said, “This was the first time she felt comfortable talking about and expressing her fear of falling and had not even done so with her physician”.
Click here to learn more about Matter of Balance and to find Master Training locations near you.
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H.O.M.E. brings together a unique combination of services in a supportive, senior-centered environment that lessens the burden of social isolation that many seniors face. We believe that the human element is essential to our model. We know that sharing a bus ride, saying hello, sharing a joke and a story with others can make a difference too. Serving seniors with warmth, connection, and joy is our particular expertise.
Since 1982, we have helped thousands of seniors to maintain their independence and remain a part of their community. Help us transform the lives of seniors in our communities. We look for people with heart, commitment and a sincere interest in our residents. Giving your time and talent can make a difference!
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