How to Age Gracefully
How to age gracefully – if we could put it in a bottle and sell it we would be kazillionaires! But in reality there are so many different ways to define what aging gracefully actually means and it is different for all us. What you can do though is find ways to keep your body, brain and spirit in the best shape possible. This will definitely improve your chances of aging gracefully!
We all value our independence. Perhaps the single most important factor in maintaining our independence is maintaining our mobility. We like to be able to get up and go when we want and where we want. Falls and/or the fear of falling can seriously impact our ability to keep our mobility. There is no doubt about it, the risk of being seriously injured in a fall and losing our ability to get up and go increases with age. The rates of fall injuries for adults 85 and older are four to five times that of adults 65 to 74. Approximately 25% of older adults who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around and limit the ability to maintain our independence. Many people who fall, even those who are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear causes them to limit their activities, leading to reduced mobility and physical fitness, thus increasing their actual risk of falling.
At Fountain Crest our residents are fiercely independent and maintain their mobility in a variety of ways. One of the ways they do this is through our IMPACT Program. IMPACT is an acronym for Improv-ing Mobility Through Prevention, Assessment, Conditioning and Tai Chi. Environmental and physical assessments help our residents know what their risk factors are for falling. Our exercise classes incorporate all four components to a complete exercise program. These components are cardiovascular work-outs, strength training, flexibility training and balance training. In fact, maintaining good balance may be the most important aspect of maintaining your mobility. Research has shown that practicing Tai Chi twice a week can dramatically improve your balance, decrease your chance of falling and decrease your chance of getting injured if you fall.
So we at Fountain Crest encourage you to stop looking for the next best “anti-aging” remedy and do as we do – embrace the inevitable and AGE GRACEFULLY!
Editor’s Note: Submitted by Amy Perkins, RN, BSN, MHSA, National Director of Wellness, Grace Management, Inc.