Residents gathered on October 14 to learn about the most common risk factors for falls as well as ways to keep your home and environment safe. Tonya Chambers from Kettering Health Network presented information on how balance works. Physical Therapist, Christina Cooper, shared information on balance-improving exercises and answered questions after the presentation.
How Balance Works
Our sense of balance relies heavily on signals from the sensory system with in our bodies including our inner ear, our sense of touch and our vision. These systems work together to maintain balance and sense if you are upright or if your body changes positions.
Strength, posture, and flexibility work together with your sensory systems to help maintain balance and keep a stable focus when your body changes positions. When signals from any of these systems do not work properly, problems with balance happen and falls can occur.
How to Improve Balance
- Regular physical activity most days of the week to include cardiovascular and flexibility exercises as well as strength training
- Have vision checked once a year
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Ask doctors or pharmacists to review medicines
- Reduce hazards in the home
- Use handrails in a stairway and bathrooms
- Fasten rugs firmly to the floor
- Utilize nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms
- Have flashlights available for power outages
- Keep frequently used items within easy reach
- Keep a telephone near your bed