fall preventionFor the frail and elderly, the fear and danger of falling can have a profound effect on everyday life, and with good reason: falling is a traumatic event for seniors, and the injuries sustained can be serious. As a result, many older adults tend to cut back on physical activity in an attempt to prevent falls. While this may seem like a logical solution, it’s surprisingly just the opposite of recent recommendations. Judy A. Stevens of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stresses the importance of exercise, adding that in the event of a fall, “If you’re in better physical condition, you’re less likely to be injured.” Regular exercise, including balance drills, can help seniors gain the muscle strength needed to prevent a fall. One specific type of exercise that’s proving to be especially helpful is tai chi, which can improve respiration, balance and gait through its slow, purposeful movements that combine breathing and muscle activity. Retirement facilities that implement tai chi programs are reporting marked improvement in the number of times participants can rise from a chair without using their arms in before and after comparisons. As Dr. Lewis A. Lipsitz, a professor of medicine at Harvard stated, “If only we could put tai chi in a pill.” Other recommended activities include any that integrate balance and strength work into daily life, as well as ensuring a proper intake of vitamin D and remaining hydrated. For more tips on preventing falls and staying active and healthy, call the elder care professionals at Cascade Companion Care at 425-361-0044. Our companion care services can help your senior loved one stay active with transportation to social events and visits with friends, shopping and errands, and more. Whether just a few hours a week or full-time live-in care is needed, we’re here to help when you need us. Let us know more about your family’s needs and get started on improving the life of your elderly loved one today!