Balance Training Could Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents in Elderly

 

balance training

A new study finds that an exercise program that includes balance training could help reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents involving the elderly.

For years now, geriatric health experts have recommended that senior citizens adopt a comprehensive exercise and fitness program, to reduce their risk of fall accidents. Seniors may have a much higher risk of falls, and those risks can be reduced by investing in a strength and training program. Now, new research finds that a program that includes balance training could substantially help reduce the risk of Slip and Fall accidents involving the elderly.

The review was published recently in the Journal BMJ, and found that a balance training program can reduce the risk of suffering a slip and fall accident. It can also help improve the protective responses that a person implements during a slip and fall accident.

Fractures are serious injuries, but in younger persons, may not have a long-term impact. Fractures in the young may heal much quicker. However, in the elderly, fractures may take a much longer time to heal, or may never completely heal at all. In fact, if an elderly person has suffered a serious fracture like a hip fracture, his chances of dying actually increase significantly in the one year after the fall.

According to the review, the benefits of a well-designed exercise and training program that can help reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents involving the elderly are well-established. However, proving a conclusive association between fitness programs and a reduced risk of injuries, is trickier.

The review was based on an analysis of 17 separate studies that focused on the benefits of fall-prevention exercise programs on lowering a senior citizen’s risk of suffering fractures as well as other injuries caused by falls. The main exercise program in the studies was tai chi. However, most of the exercise programs included balance training and gait, strength and functional training. These programs are designed to help seniors perform daily routine activities. The researchers found a reduced risk of fall accidents after undergoing these training programs, but not necessarily a reduced risk of fractures.

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