fall prevention balance training

Falls of Seniors: What to do

More than one third of person 65 years of age or older fall each year and in half of such cases the falls are recurrent.

If you are a senior, ie 60 year or older that means you need to take more care and precautions for yourself. Other than medical conditions or diseases which you take care by doing routine blood tests and investigations, you should not forget to keep yourself free from falls.

What are falls?

Falls include dropping from a standing or sitting position or from ladder or stepladder.

Falls are common in elderly. It has been proven scientifically that with aging, a lot of brain structures, muscles strength, vision, hearing and sensations show a gradual decline.

Causes of fall

Many things can put you at higher (double or triple) risk for a fall.

Medical Risk Factors

·         Impaired musculoskeletal function, gait (read walking style) abnormality and osteoporosis                 falls

·         Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), blood pressure fluctuation

·         Depression, Alzheimer’s disease and senility

·         Arthritis, hip weakness and imbalance

·         Neurologic conditions including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis etc.

·         Urinary and bladder dysfunction

·         Vision or hearing loss

·         Cancer that affects the bones

·         Side effects of medications

Personal Risk Factors

·         Age. The risk for a fall increases with age. Normal aging affects our eyesight, balance, strength, and ability to quickly react to our environments.

·         Activity. Lack of exercise leads to decreased balance, coordination, and bone and muscle strength.

·         Habits. Excessive alcohol intake and smoking decrease bone strength. Alcohol use can also cause unsteadiness and slow reaction times.

·         Diet. A poor diet and not getting enough water will deplete strength and energy, and can make it hard to move and do everyday activities.

 

Falls and accidents seldom “just happen”      People should not fall

Why should you NOT fall?

As a result of fall, you may get a small injury like a bruise or mild bleeding or a muscle pull to some serious injuries like fracture (break in bone) or brain injury and deaths too.

If you are osteoporotic (a condition in which bones are already weak) chances of fracture increases.

Fall risk increases with age. Henceforth, falls are common and serious health problem with devastating consequences in elderly

Prevention of fall is possible by early diagnosis and awareness about intervention. Fall should not be perceived as inevitable part of aging. All elderly, be sure to discuss the fall with doctor, even if you are not hurt. It can also be a sign of new medical condition like diabetes or change in blood pressure.

Physiotherapists play a vital role in prevention of falls.

 

Physiotherapy and rehabilitation at ReLivaTM for fall prevention

Reliva therapists conduct a detail check of elderly muscles strength and sensations of body more specifically for legs. Reliva therapists also conduct scientifically proven validated scales (Fall risk assessment scale and Berg Balance scale) to know if there is any risk of fall and to know balance problems in elderly.

Based on which, Reliva therapists design an exercise protocol to improve strength and balance in sitting, standing as well as walking. Physiotherapists are specially trained for balance specific exercises.  If required, they will prescribe an assistive device (walker or stick which can later be gradually discontinued ) with regular supervised exercise sessions.

Call Reliva if:

You are an elderly

You want to get fall risk check

You want to get balance check

You want strengthening and balance exercises

You want home modification tips.

For simple Tips to Prevent Falls, click here and see the infographic.

What to do if you had a Fall

  • Do not panic. Assess the situation and determine if you are hurt.
  • Slide or crawl along the floor to the nearest couch or chair and try to get up.
  • If you cannot get up, call for help.
  • If you are alone, slowly crawl to the telephone and call nearest hospital or relatives.
  • Once you are ok, do see a doctor or a Physiotherapist even if you haven’t hurt yourself, to ascertain the reason for the fall.

Related articles: Falls Prevention Tips

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

Dementia and Alzheimer

Dementia & Alzheimer’s: Points of care

What is Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease?

Dementia, a brain condition that causes problems with thinking and memory, is a major worldwide health problem among older people. Alzheimer’s Disease contributes approximately 70% of all Dementia cases. Epidemiological studies in India suggest about 1/3rd of the prevalence of Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) as compared to The United States and other developed countries. Incidence of AD increases sharply after age 65.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that slowly impairs memory and cognitive function. It is characterised by decline and loss of multiple Cognitive functions such as loss of memory and atleast one of the following:

  • Loss of Ability to understand (Aphasia): for example, Inability to respond to “Your daughter is on the phone”.
  • Loss of Ability to perform Complex tasks of daily routine (Apraxia): for example, Dressing, Bathing etc.
  • Loss of ability to plan, organise, execute normal activities of daily living:  for example, going Shopping etc.

Alzheimers vs Dementia

The task of being Caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, can be extremely daunting. One may have to experience behavioral problems such as wandering, aggressiveness, hallucinations, or sometimes sleeping and eating difficulties. By learning how to make changes in the caring atmosphere, you can improve the Quality of life for both the patient and your ownself.

Tips for the Caregiver

  • Try to put yourself in the person’s situation. Look at your loved one’s body language &  imagine what he/she might be feeling or trying to express.
  • Are the patient’s needs being met? Is the patient hungry, thirsty or in pain?
  • Make necessary changes in the home environment or atmosphere to comfort the patient.
  • Create a calm & soothing environment. Keep yourself calm and stop being anxious or upset in response to their behavioral problems as it can increase patient’s stress or agitation.
  • Establish a daily routine for the patient such as a schedule for bathing; as all these tasks would be difficult and can be done only when the patient is very calm and agreeable.
  • Expect things to take longer than they used to and give step by step instructions when you ask your loved one to do something.
  • Encourage them to participate in physical activity or Exercises as it is a great way to reduce stress, improve balance and coordination and other activities of daily routine.

 

How does Physiotherapy help in Alzheimer’s disease?Care for Alzheimers dementia

Regulated and supervised exercises during Physiotherapy can help the patient of Alzheimer’s disease in several ways, some of which are listed below:

 

  • Exercise is an excellent stress reliever and it can give solutions to most of the problems such as aggression, wandering and lack of sleep or sleep disturbance.
  • Physiotherapy improves muscle strength, mobility, balance and Co-ordination and ensures proper training for activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, etc.
  • Physiotherapy is crucial for patients in pain and reduces symptoms with use of Electrotherapy.
  • Physiotherapy can assess one’s ability to walk safely, the risk of falls & other functional tasks. The therapist will develop a treatment program, including exercise, to help maintain your loved one’s current abilities.
  • Even in late stages of Alzheimer’s, physiotherapy can help prevent & manage shortening of the muscles or joints.
  • Physical activity creates valuable opportunities to socialise with others & can help improve & maintain a person’s independence which is beneficial both to the people with Alzheimer’s & Dementia & also to their Caregivers.
  • Several studies show that exercises performed for 15-30 minutes, thrice a week, prove to be beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

“A Person does not need to remember having engaged in an Exercise Program to reap the benefits of Exercise- they just have to participate!”

 

Every person is unique & will have different levels of ability and activities they enjoy. If you want to find out more about suitable Exercise & Physical activities, Contact us at ReLivaTM

Related Articles : Seniors Fall: What to do, Fall Prevention Tips

“This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy at http://reliva.in/disclaimer.php”

cardiac rehab for healthy heart

Cardiac Rehab – Staying Heart Healthy

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation? cardiac rehab

Cardiac Rehabilitation is an individualized and personalized treatment plan, including evaluation and instruction on physical activity, stress management, and other health related areas.

An important part of the treatment of your specific heart problem. If you have one of the following diagnoses, you may be eligible to participate :
•    Heart Attack
•    Angina
•    Coronary artery angioplasty or stents
•    Open heart surgery such as coronary bypass or valve surgery
•    Heart failure

Even if you are prone to CVD,  a rehabilitation program  would mitigate the risk of a cardiac event.

Recent scientific studies have shown that people who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program can increase their life expectancy by up to five years.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation:

  • Live longer and lessen your chances for another heart attack
  • Control heart disease symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Stop or reverse damage to your blood vessels in your heart
  • Lessen the physical and emotional effects of heart disease
  • Improve your stamina and strength, getting you back to your usual activities, including work, hobbies, and regular exercise
  • Improve your confidence and well-being

Cardiac Rehabilitation Offers: 

1. A personalised, monitored and supervised exercise program incuding one or all of the following:

•  ECG

•  Heart rate

•  Blood pressure

•  SPO2

2. Assessment of your personal risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease

3. Education and support to make healthy lifestyle changes such as :

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Beginning and maintaining a personalized exercise plan that works for you

ReLivaTM Cardiac Rehab program aims to deliver appropriate dosage of exercise under regular patient monitoring to achieve optimal cardiovascular capabilities.

Exercise = Medicine to keep your heart healthyCardiac rehab - Exercise is medicine to keep heart healthy

stretching exercises

Stretching Exercises : How to Make the Most of it

Stretching for sport and exercise improves flexibility, which increases the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion; in other words, how far it can bend, twist and reach. This article attempts to guide how to stretch properly and get the most of it.

Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.

Here are some of the main benefits of stretching. Hopefully these reasons will inspire you to make it part of your schedule!

For Your Body

  • Helps improve flexibility (increases your range of motion)
  • Assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (because of so much time at our computers, many of us have tight chest muscles which pulls the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with a hunched shoulder look)
  • Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness

For Your Mind

  • Even a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) of stretching can calm the mind, provide a mental break, and give your body a chance to recharge
  • Classes like yoga or pilates offer you a chance to spend an hour releasing tension physically and mentally

How to stretch properly?

To stretch properly and safely, slowly stretch the muscle just until you feel resistance. Resistance is the point at which you feel a slight pull. It should not be painful. Stop and hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds without bouncing up and down.

During the stretch, breathe deeply and regularly. Don’t hold your breath. Make sure your muscles are warmed up before you stretch. The best time to stretch is after exercise, when your muscles are most supple. ReLiva suggests 6 active stretches that you must do.

To get the most out of the stretching you do, here are some suggestions:

Dont Skip the Pre-Workout Stretch

Your muscles should be warm before you begin your stretching. Do a warm-up before a workout that simulates the movements you’ll be doing in order to warm up and prepare your body. Stretch after the workout when your muscles are already warm.

Focus on the Muscles That Need the Most Help

Instead of trying to stretch your whole body after every time you exercise, focus on a key area of the body each time. Spend longer on each stretch and include more stretches for each area. If you are aware of muscles that are tight, then focus on those ones.

Include One Long-Duration Flexibility Session Each Week

Choose a flexibility class, such as yoga, pilates, or do your own flexibility work for 45-60 minutes at least once a week. If you’re having trouble sticking to it, follow these strategies and build it into your schedule/calendar

 

recovery from knee pain

Dreams come true!

Painful knees are a very common occurrence among the elderly and so was with Mr Narayanaswamy. He continued to live with painful knees which eventually hampered his everyday activity. There was chronic pain and despite medication his walking and general movement began to decline. He continued to console himself that the reduced activity and stamina was owing to his increasing age.

But after a prolonged period of about two years, by when he was bed-ridden and almost totally inactive – he underwent total knee replacement as advised by his doctor.

After an initial rehab of knee replacement, an average person usually reports significant improvement in walking and other movements. Unfortunately Mr Narayanaswamy was not showing any signs of recovery. Instead he consistently suffered from fever and weight loss. Eventually a TB infection was diagnosed that had affected the TKR implant too. So a revision surgery had to be performed on him shortly, thereafter.

It is at this stage that I got to meet Mr S. Narayanaswamy – who had gone through so much in the last two years. Not just being physically weak he was feeling mentally drained too. He recalls “After I came from the hospital, I was very low on physical as well as mental strength. I was depressed also.  Even the slightest of movement made me breathless.

I was to be his home visit Physiotherapist from ReLiva. On his initial assessment, I realized that it was not just his stamina, he was even having difficulty balancing himself while standing. He had been bed-ridden and completely inactive for more than a year.

As a physiotherapist, I identified that his immediate goal was to improve his balance, regain strength and thereafter build up his stamina. All of these eventually will help him regain self-confidence.

Together we worked hard day-in and day-out. I would visit him regularly at his place and work on his goals through a combination of therapy and exercises. Gradually he showed signs of recovery and began to stand properly on his own. We systematically progressed to the next set of exercises. Now I had prescribed him several movements to be done on his own during the rest of the day. The committed and sincere person that he was, he would do those home exercises diligently on most occasions. We were moving from one strength to another.

It was at the end of another session of physiotherapy when he broke the news with a beaming smile that he was thinking of visiting his daughter abroad!

We had come a long way. Here was a man who was completely bed-ridden for a year and a half and could not even speak on the telephone for more than a minute and NOW – he wanted to travel overseas! He was daring to dream and together we shall have to make his dream come true! We now worked towards a deadline when he could walk independently to take this long journey on his own.

After another bout of intense physiotherapy, he reported, “my energy level has gone up, I have regained my emotional strength, there is no depression, no breathlessness! I am walking properly and climbing stairs.”

Last, I saw him the day before he was to take his flight and he walked on his own with his walking stick. We did some strengthening exercises which he would continue doing on his own while he was away. He told me that “I am a happy individual now. I am back to life!” … what he didn’t realise was : What a happy and delighted therapist he was leaving behind in me watching his dream come true!

As shared by Dr Shrutika Parab (PT). Dr Shrutika is a home visit physiotherapist with ReLiva Physiotherapy. She is immensely popular among her clients for her enthusiastic and positive approach. You can contact her directly at ReLiva (+91 9920991584) or email to her at contact@reliva.in.

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