Can You Pass This Balance Test

Can You Pass This Balance Test

Can You Pass This Balance Test?

According to STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries) more than 27,000 people over 65, die as a result of falls, which is 74 every day all year long. Only 1 in 4 reports falls to their doctors during any appointment.  It is very important to let your doctor know if you are slipping, unsteady or falling, even occasionally.  There may be many reasons for falls but ALL are important, as part of your health history.  They may mean more to your doctor than you think, as part of your total healthcare picture. Slips and fall may be the symptom of many things including, medication interaction, poor eyesight, and a neurological imbalance, and inner ear infection, loss of sensation in your feet and legs or even poor shoe selection.

Thanks to Dr. Steve Morris, for sharing the following. Gait Test with us at his Life Long Learning presentation. So, dig out a pencil and answer the following questions. You get a point for every YES answer.   Zero is the BEST score!…..Now be HONEST

    1. Have I had a slip or fall in the past 12 months?


    1. It has been suggested I use a cane or walker at any time.


    1. I sometimes feel unsteady when I walk.


    1. A family member says they are worried I might fall.


    1. I need to push on arms of a chair to stand up


    1. I have trouble judging the depths of curbs.


    1. I often need to get to the bathroom very quickly.


    1. I have lost sensation in my feet.


    1. Family has been asking me to “stand up straight”.


    1. Some of my medicines make me feel light headed.


    1. I take medicine to help me sleep.


    1. I don’t swing my arms when I walk.

Now if you are able to honestly able to all these questions and can get a ZERO your chances of a slip or fall in the next year are very low.  However, if your score is 4 or more you need to let your MD know and start a personal campaign to improve.  According to a study done by Reuters Health, step training focused on improving gait and balance may help prevent falls among the elderly. In this study the analysis of seven previous studies, with a combined total of 660 older adults, found that interventions to improve stepping skills cut the rate of falls roughly in half.  The best fall prevention, suggests that older adults would benefit from exercises designed to help maintain balance during everyday activities like getting out of a chair or avoiding obstacles on a sidewalk, said senior study author Stephen Lord of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, a leading expert in fall prevention. Check into classes or workouts (many easy to follow and available online) that improve your ability to recover when balance is lost.  That way trips or slips don’t turn into falls. Strength and balance are most important for physical functioning. So as we are finding, in many things in our lives Prevention is best.  So, first step is to put down your test and stand up without holding on to your chair and Step Lively.

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