Central New York, Community, Education, Health, Seniors, Syracuse

Staying Active is Important in Preventing Falls

Falls are common in older adults. Staying active can help prevent this from happening. (c) 2017 Mary Peters

By Mary Peters SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Residents at The Hearth on James are active almost every day.

“My favorite part of exercising is it keeps me healthy because I don’t know, I think I have a fear that if I just sit down and do nothing, then I won’t live to be one hundred,” said Sheila Green.

Her sister, Sharon Thompson, agrees.

“Hopefully that I’ll be able to walk and do things when I get old,” said Thompson.

35.7 percent of falls happen in the bathroom. Getting up and moving every day can help prevent this.

“You just plain feel better,” Green said.

Today, residents at The Hearth on James learned three new exercises.  All of these exercises help with a person’s balance.

Falls become more common as people get older.  These can be caused by:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Impaired vision
  • Medications
  • Lack of physical activity

The Hearth on James is trying to increase physical activity in their residents by providing bikes and walking clubs, as well as exercise classes for their residents.

Living spaces can also be a reason for someone to fall.  At home, older adults should:

  • Reduce clutter
  • Arrange furniture so that it is easy to get around
  • Check your lighting
  • Adjust the height of the bed so you can get in and out
  • Use a rolling walker in the bathroom
  • Have a nonskid mat in the shower

“That is my job, is to keep the residents living independently and as safe as possible,” said Dan Kreisler, a physical therapist at The Hearth on James.

And that’s why he said his job is so important.

“Falls are very prevalent.  I mean, every year after you turn the age of 60, your chances of a fall increase about 10 percent,” Kreisler said.

There is a daily walking club with an administrator available to residents at the assisted living home.  Sharon and Sheila really enjoy this.

“And we just take off on her and walk,” Green said.

The Hearth on James offers exercise classes every Thursday and a walking club every morning during the week.

This is a bike available to residents at The Hearth on James. (c) 2017 Mary Peters