Balance and Adults
How to Prevent and Reduce Fall Risk
One in five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury. Fear of falling can also seriously affect the quality of life and sadly, can keep a person from being active and thriving.
Why a fall happens
Why does a fall happen? Fundamentally, no matter who you are and what age you are, here’s why:
Challenge to balance or strength > Ability to stay upright
In other words, we fall when we experience an event that challenges our balance or strength. If this event overwhelms our ability to remain upright, down we go.
Balance training seems to prevent falls and injuries in seniors
Balance can’t be taken for granted past a certain age; it must be maintained — both in mind and body. General physical fitness and targeted exercises to improve balance can prevent falls.
“We need careful planning of our movements, decision making, reaction time, and attention” says Brad Manor, PhD, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Staying mentally active is very important to avoiding falls.”
Three physical systems are very important in maintaining good balance;
The ear; 2. The eyes, and the 3. vestibular system
We depend on several body systems for keeping us upright. The inner ear, which senses head motions, has an important role. So does the body’s somatosensory system, which relays the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. And, of course, vision tips you off to obstacles around you. The brain takes in all this information, plans out movement, and carries it out.
Exercise programs reduced falls that caused injuries by 37%, falls leading to serious injuries by 43%, and broken bones by 61%
At the Hearing & Health Centre we can help you learn a balance-improving routine.
Balance Analysis and Enhancement
Being in balance – how to test and train balance and coordination
The MediBalance Pro system, used at the Hearing & Health Centre, measures and analyses your posture and level of balance in both an elegant and sophisticated way.
Within the given test routine, the three primary systems for staying in balance are being evaluated: the vestibular, the visual and the somato-sensorial system are being assessed and compared.
Undergoing a 4- or up to 12-step test protocol can determine the balance skills of your client. You will see what effect it has to destabilize any one or two of these parameters and if balance can be maintained or deteriorates significantly.
To be in balance, not worrying about possibly falling – most people never give this much thought and take this ability for granted. But up to 22 percent of male and 36 percent of female population at least sporadically complain about dizziness and vertigo issues. Among the age group 80+ vertigo is impairment number 1 – more than 39 percent of this age group struggle with lack of balance and vertigo issues. Consulting their medical doctor often does not provide the desired solution: Being told that indeed the patient has a vertigo issue most of the time is old news.
Solutions to deal with and overcome the daily struggle of staying in balance and not falling is exactly the aim of our MediBalance Pro platform solution:
Based upon the initial analysis a target-oriented training is offered which will help you to regain a better sense of posture and level of body awareness.
Movement is essential to perform any daily activity. You need strong balance to move efficiently. Without balance, typical tasks such as lifting a bag of groceries, climbing stairs, or standing and sitting would be extremely challenging to do
Poor balance, a persistent problem for many people, triggers many falls. In young, healthy adults, balance is largely an automatic reflex. However, gradual changes linked to growing older—such as weak or inflexible muscles, slower reflexes, and worsening eyesight—affect the sense of balance.
Certain health problems—such as inner ear disorders, neuropathy, and heart rhythm disturbances—may upset balance, too. So can alcohol and many medications. Perhaps it’s not surprising that every year, at least one out of three people over age 65 falls.
Shaky balance can spur a downward spiral. Often, people begin moving around less during the day, voluntarily cutting back activities. Confidence dips, muscles essential to balance grow weaker still, and unsteadiness rises in response. So does fear of falling—and falls.
Tel: +27 (0)44 382 1168