Build your muscles to improve your balance and avoid falls with simple Exercises
Every year, one in three people over age 65 will experience a fall. This alarming statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports that falls can often become life-threatening injuries for seniors.
Beyond the physical injuries to our bones and muscles, experiencing a fall can cause emotional injuries, too. Once you’ve experienced a fall, you can be afraid of the next fall, and this can cause seniors to limit their activities, which can impact social life and overall well being. The less active you become, the more your muscles will lose their strength, thus increasing the likelihood of a future fall.
To end this negative feedback loop, Harvard University’s Health Publishing offers three simple exercises that anyone can do to improve their sense of balance and hopefully prevent falls before they happen.
As with all new workout plans, check with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe. Many health conditions make it difficult to exercise safely, and all workouts should be done under the supervision of a professional trainer or physical therapist.
Check out these balance-improving exercises:
Stand up straight behind a chair, holding the back with both hands. Position your feet hip-width apart. Lift up on your toes. Hold. Lower your heels to the floor. Repeat ten times.
Standing hamstring curls
Stand up straight behind a chair, holding the back with both hands. Extend your right leg behind you with your toes touching the floor. Bend your right knee and try to bring the heel to your right buttock. Hold. Slowly lower your foot to the floor. Repeat ten times on each leg.
Standing side leg lift
Stand up straight behind a chair, holding the back with both hands. Slowly lift your right leg straight out to the side about six inches off the floor. Hold. Return to starting position. Repeat ten times on each side.
By adding strength to your leg muscles, you’ll begin to feel more stable on your feet. This sense of stability will help you prevent falls and make it easier to stay active, and staying active is a key ingredient to a healthy and rewarding lifestyle.
As a country, we face significant challenges from Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, the neuro-degenerative disease affects between 4 and 7 million people in the United States. Plus, doctors expect to diagnose more than 14 million additional people by 2050.
In California, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death. The effect on people’s lives is enormous, and it comes with a hefty financial bill as well: Researchers estimate the state spends $100 billion caring for Alzheimer’s patients every year.
To address this, California has a four-part plan that focuses on the growing Alzheimer’s crisis. The plan includes:
The first step in California’s plan is to spread awareness and acceptance of Alzheimer’s disease. This involves public education and developing public information and educational materials.
Ensuring Access to High-Quality, Coordinated Care
California wants to make sure Alzheimer’s who want and can stay in their homes can do so. With coordinated care plans, more patients will have this option.
Establishing a Comprehensive Approach to Support Family Caregivers
The state’s initiative will focus on unpaid family caregivers. California is working to develop more professional guidance, training, and resources.
Developing an Alzheimer’s-Proficient Workforce
Truly addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis requires training medical staff in basic dementia sensitivity. California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers will lead the way in training healthcare workers.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s doesn’t always mean relocating to a care facility. With technology like EasyCall, seniors can keep their independence and stay in their homes. EasyCall ensures help is never further than the push of a button. To learn more about California’s efforts to address Alzheimer’s, visit the California Department of Public Health.
Taking care of elderly family members is a rewarding experience for many. However, some of us who find ourselves serving as caregivers will benefit from additional training. Love and compassion are enough to get started as a caregiver, but sometimes we need some practical hands-on skills to help us provide the most effective care.
CPR & First Aid Skills
Cuts and bruises are a part of everyday life, but for seniors, the odds of experiencing a serious injury increase with age. As a caregiver, having basic first-aid skills is essential. It’s a good idea to take a first aid and CPR class once every two years to stay current on the latest techniques. Many Fire and Police departments offer free first-aid and CPR classes or you can check with your local chapter of the American Red Cross to find a class near you. By completing the training, you can become certified in CPR and first aid, which typically lasts for two years. Knowing how to apply first aid or CPR can help you stay confident in an emergency and may even save someone’s life.
Knowing How to Lift Someone
There may be a day when you have to lift your loved one from a seated or lying position. Whether you’re lifting someone from a bed, chair, or the floor, having the proper technique can help you successfully lift someone without injury to yourself. Caregivers who routinely move patients from seated to lying positions can benefit from a variety of devices intended to aid with moving people. The healthcare organization, Practo, offers this overview of lifting methods.
In addition to caring for others, we have our own lives to lead as caregivers. Building time management skills can help us stay on top of appointments and responsibilities without becoming overwhelmed. Start with free calendaring apps from Google, Microsoft, or Apple to help you get organized. Online calendars can be shared with family and friends, making it easy to stay in sync with others. Tech companies have even launched apps specifically for caregivers who need to organize multiple doctor’s visits, medication, and more. Check out our recent EasyCall blog post on the Best Apps for Caregivers to learn more.
With these skills, you can be sure you’re caring for your loved ones to the best of your abilities. Take that care to the next level with EasyCall, your 24/7 partner in providing peace of mind. Our personal emergency response systems are convenient and affordable. Click the banner below to learn more.