Balance training reduces risk of falling and raises quality of life
Approximately one third of all people 65 years or older fall each year and half of those fall repeatedly. Falls not only lead to physical injury (hip and arm fractures, head injuries) but also have a large impact on the individual’s quality of life. (ref in Netherlands study)
A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that preventing falls and the resulting injuries can reduce or delay the need to move to a long-term care facility. (Tinetti and Williams)
Fear of falling can trigger a downward spiral of physical, emotional and functional decline as the person incrementally makes choices to restrict their activities and narrow their world. Leaving the house becomes too big a risk and social isolation ensues (Jette). Ironically, the most frequently occurring accident for seniors is a fall in or around the home (Stevens).
Maintaining your independent life style is linked to your balance skills. You can take steps now to improve your balance and implement good fall prevention practices. Balance is a worthwhile investment (SV)
Intervention to improve balance can reduce the incidence of falling ( Evans article).
“Of those who pursued an intervention, 91% either stabilized or decreased their fall frequency.” ~ Dr. John Parrish, executive director of the Erickson Foundation.
Many falls are caused by an incorrect transfer of weight. Walking, turning, and reaching are all common movements that involve a transfer of weight. Falls often occur when doing simple activities like walking forward, initiating walking, standing, or sitting down (Evans article).
The above is a mash up of excerpts from balance research and articles.