Balance is Key to Physical Health in Seniors

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from: Longevity Explorers | Palo Alto

Discussion Summary

One member was a strong advocate for importance of maintaining physical balance and avoiding falls that can precipitate an inexorable process of physical decline in seniors. He serves on the Fitness Committee at a Senior Living Center and said their main focus was to look for devices to help people avoid falls.

A product of potential value to seniors would be socks with sensors that are used by marathon runners to provide feedback on their foot placement as they run. Its application for seniors could also include detectors for upcoming obstacles and trip hazards. Unfortunately, the Falls Clinic at Stanford did not seem too interested in adapting the marathon runners’ socks for use with seniors. Someone commented that just pulling on such socks could pose a problem for some seniors.

A general question elicited by this discussion was how can we let seniors know what is available to help them. This is a need Avenidas seeks to fill, but people have to be attentive to program offerings, or ready to make their needs known to Avenidas staff.

A pole walking class was mentioned as one example of Avenidas programming designed to help develop fitness and balance. One person spoke highly of the improvements she experienced from learning how to use walking poles and getting out more often with them.


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Key words: 
gait and balance, walking cane