Healthy Aging: A Balancing Act For America’s Older Adults

Good balance is a physical condition you might take for granted when you are young and healthy.  Balance is vital to help you get around, stay independent and carry out daily activities.

However, as you age, many people experience complications with their balance.  They feel dizzy or unsteady, or as if they their surroundings were in motion.

Having good balance means being able to control and maintain the position of your body, whether you are moving or remaining still. Balance helps you walk without staggering, get up from a chair without falling climb stairs without tripping; and bend over without falling.

NIH Senior Health reports balance problems are among the most common reasons older adults seek help from a physician.  NIH Senior Health estimates 14.8 percent of American adults (33.4 million) in 2008 had a balance or dizziness problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports roughly one-third of adults ages 65 years and older fall each year.

Fall-related injuries, such as hip fractures, can have a serious impact on the life of an older person. A fall can limit activities or make it impossible to live independently. Many people often become more isolated after a fall.

Disturbances of the inner ear are a common cause for balance issues. Conditions such as Menier’s Disease, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, and Labyrinthitis are usual diagnoses.

There are many ways to treat balance disorders. Treatments vary depending on the cause. See your doctor if you are experiencing dizziness, vertigo, or other problems with your balance.

We know aging is inevitable, but falling does not to be a given for older adults.  The number of falls among seniors can bee reduced dramatically with balance exercises, lifestyle adjustments and modifications to your home.

The National Falls Prevention Resource Center is a great source of information to help you get better educated about the prevention of falls and best practices.

Every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency room in the U.S. for a fall related injury.  Don’t become a fall-related statistic. Many falls are preventable.

Article by PRIDE PHC SERVICES, servicing San Antonio and Central Texas with PERSONAL CARE and IN HOME SERVICES. For more information, call 800.334.5157.

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