There can be a variety and combination of reasons as to why any individual falls, and sometimes accidents just happen. But in the aging population, falls often occur due to any or all of these culprits: Balance Deficits arise from many sources such as: Nervous system— neurological impairment and altered sensation anywhere in the feet as well as the entire lower extremity. Nerves are all over—into muscles, fascia, tendons, and joints so these each play into balance. Vestibular System— dysfunction of the inner ear and nervous system can skew the body’s awareness of where it is in space. Vision— oftendeclineswithage.DecliningMobilityofthetrunkandextremities is a huge factor. Flexibility loss in soft tissues and joints can greatly reduce an individual’s functional mobility. Strength Loss— muscle fibers atrophy more readily later in life than earlier. Pain - people tend to avoid what hurts. When movement becomes painful people understandably avoid it, contributing to all of the above problems. Medication— Every medication has a side effect. For some this means compromising balance and increasing fall risk in a variety of manners: dizziness, lowered blood pressure, inducing drowsiness, and increasing trips to the bathroom are just some examples. EnvironmentalHazards— throw rugs get lots of attention. But fallen objects, cluttered areas, uneven terrain, ice, even pets can heighten fall risk. Sedentary Lifestyle— For a variety of reasons many older adults may find themselves increasingly sedentary. This plays into mobility, strength, pain, and meds. WHY DO FALLS OCCUR?
INGREDIENTS • 3 eggs • 2 cups sugar • 3/4 cup butter softened • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 2 cups all-purpose flour see note below for gluten-free alternative • 12 oz fresh cranberries INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout. Spread in a buttered 9x13 pan. (This pan is my favorite!) Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 43 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting into small slices. I cut mine into fairly small pieces, about 1”x2”, so that they could be easily eaten at a party. Enjoy! CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS CAKE
SINGLE LEG STANCE FORWARD Stand on one leg and maintain your balance. Next, hold your leg out in front of your body. Then return to original position. Maintain a slightly bent knee on the stance side. Start out holding on to a counter. Then as you improve keep a chair near by for safety. Repeat 8 times on each leg.
EXERCISE ESSENTIALS TRY THESE EXERCISES TO IMPROVE CORE STRENGTH
STANDING HIP ABDUCTION Stand with good posture. Hold onto a chair or counter for support. Lift one leg out to the side using your side- buttock muscles. Return to the start position with control. Repeat 8 times on each leg.
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