As we get older, which happens to everyone, our risk of falls increases. Mobility related issues such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, neuropathy in Diabetics, chronic pain, accidents, back and neck pain can all gradually limit movement and strength.
So how can we prevent a fall?
Muscle health is an important component to preventing a fall.
Age-related loss of muscle can decrease mobility, and believe it or not, this can begin as early as 30 years of age, however, it can become more prominent from the age of 50 onwards. The rate of muscle loss is influenced by the amount of regular physical activity you do throughout your life - quite literally, if you don't use it, you lose it! Other conditions that may contribute to falls include depression, respiratory issues such as COPD, brain injuries, and dementia. Exercise therapies tailored to the type of disease can significantly improve an individuals' physical functioning, mobility and possibilities for independent living.
For those with long term illnesses, it is important to be able to move. Promotion of exercise therapy such as a Falls Prevention or Low Mobility classes will benefit both the individual and society. The good thing is, West Champlain Family Health Team offers these classes on a regular basis and they are taught by certified and experienced healthcare professionals.
Connie Daiken, RN (myself) and Kathy Hummel RT are both certified Senior’s Fitness Instructors.
Jennifer Schoof, RN has lead our Falls Prevention classes as well.
We encourage our Health Care Practitioners to discuss with our patients the advantages and benefits of participating in our fitness programs. A few such benefits would include: improved activities of daily living such as getting up and off of a chair or out of bed with less difficulty, reaching into cupboards, getting in and out of the shower or bath easier, and being able to do household chores again.
Did we mention the mental health benefits are tremendous as well?
Being involved in a social gathering brings a sense of kinship and support, and helps with connections and friendships. Social isolation is a true risk factor for immobility. Keeping involved and getting out gives a sense of purpose and well being even when feeling physically challenged.
Please take a few minutes to watch this video on Social Prescribing, which we offer in coordination with our local 50+Active Living Centre in Pembroke.
Feel free to connect with our team to enroll in any of our physical activity programs!