Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Matter of Balance . . . . Managing Concerns about Falls

Greetings Blogger Buddies.  I want to tell you about my newest adventure.

I recently became certified as a Balance Coach and I am very excited to tell you about it.

You know the deal.  As we age, we are not as agile as we used to be.  Falling is a very real and serious concern.You hear about it all the time. Statistics show that folks who fall and break a hip are usually dead within a year.  Our pal Dewey Clower died from complications from a fall. My church friend, Ethel, fell and broke both her wrists.  Ron had some serious falls last year and I wanted to try and figure out how to help him.

The National Council on Aging offers classes on how to prevent falls.  I signed up here in Tucson with our Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) to take the class.  I learned so much and decided I really wanted to share my new knowledge, so I signed up for the Coaching Class.   We will be holding classes at my church, Oro Valley United Church of Christ during the month of March.

The foundation for A Matter of Balance started in the State of Maine.  Today, many other states offer the course.  Google it if you are interested in learning more.  In an effort to get you interested, here are a couple of tips:

TIP ONE, WRIST TWIRLS:  When you fall, you usually try and block your fall with your wrists.  Start strengthening them so in a perfect world they won't break like Ethel's did.    Twirl them in circles.  Clockwise and counter clock wise.  Wave at folks when you are out and about.  Do it a lot.  Some might view you as a little balmy, but most will just think you are a very friendly person.

TIP TWO, ANKLE TWIRLS: Our ankles hold us up.  Duh.  We want to keep them up to the job.  Circle them around.  Do it in both directions.  It's super easy to do.  You can do it from your favorite chair while reading.  I find that when my feet are cold, ankle twirls warm them up.  It's a really nice,  cuzzy feeling.

TIP THREE, SIT TO STAND:  The Matter of Balance folks say that if you can do this, it will keep you out of a nursing home. Doctors ask people to do this before referring them to an assisted living facility. (I think it is just a polite way of determining if they can get on and off a toilet without help.)  Sit in a chair that has no arms.  Stand up and sit down.  Try to master ten "sit to stands" every time you finish a meal. If you have to start small, I promise you will improve!

This is just a quick overview of a Matter of Balance.  There are many more useful tips and exercises. Staying active is key.  People are afraid of falling, so they stay home and become couch potatoes.  And get frailer.  That's not good.  We don't want to do that.  You don't have to move fast, but just move.  Let me know if you want more info.  Good luck and stay strong.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Can't do the chair act, but I can twirl. Pretty exciting. Lol. Thanks