Age is associated with a loss of many functions.
Slower reaction times. Slower processing. Postural control can be lost. Rehabilitation can support many of these functions, however the body is breaking down. These normal processes also include the musculoskeletal and nervous systems which both contribute to balance and stability.
Poor Eyesight – this affects response to glare and depth of vision which can affect stability. This misjudgement may lead to a fall.
Impaired heart function – may reduce the response to postural changes and result in postural hypotension which may result in dizziness and a fall.
Spatial awareness as a result of ageing diseases. Lacking sensitivity in swollen joints or hypersensitivity that can lead to confusing feedback.
Skeletal degeneration from arthritis, injury and osteoporosis can change sensations and awareness which impacts balance and stability.
Vestibular changes – Age related decline in balance, often connected to hearing and eye function, has a huge impact on balance, increasing the risk of falling.
Anything is possible with the right approach and mindset
So how do we go about helping someone (and ourselves step out of our comfort zone and start becoming more active and mindful? Use this time to discuss with your team. Here are some ideas below to discuss and think about.
- Simple movement tasks
- Repetition and rehearsal
- Longer transition times
- Effective verbal and visual cueing
- Functional movements
What will you expect to see when practising specific movements? Here are some results listed;
- Balance when moving (dynamic)
- Balance when still (static)
- Corrections in movements
- Sense of awareness
- Posture and gait