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Balance Tests Let Seniors Know if They Are at Risk for Falls

There is no single cause for falls but rather multiple risk factors that  combine to increase the chances of a fall. Take these simple tests to see how your muscle strength, one of the risk factors, compares with the average person in your age group.

You may want to have someone nearby to watch/time you as you try these tests.

Single leg standing balance test

Single Leg Standing Balance Test

  1. Stand on a hard floor near a table or counter top for support.
  2. Bend one knee and lift the foot – if you’re left-handed, stand on your left leg and lift the right foot; do the opposite if you’re right-handed. You don’t need to lift it high, just enough to keep it off the floor.
  3. Now without holding onto anything slowly count the number of seconds you can hold that position without putting your foot back down.
  4. Repeat the test 3 times, and then add up your total time and divide it by 3 to find your average balance time. (For example, if test 1 was 4 seconds, test 2 was 8 seconds, and test 3 was 6 seconds, you’d add up 4, 8, and 6 to get 18. Divide by 3, and your average balance time is 6 seconds.)

You can try retaking this same test with your eyes closed for a greater challenge. Compare your results below.

Sit-to-stand step 3
Sit-to-stand steps 1, 2

Timed Sit-To-Stand Test

  1. Sit in a standard chair with your back against the back of the chair (make sure the chair isn’t touching a wall
  2. Cross your arms over your chest
  3. Stand up and sit back down 5 times as fast as you can.

What it means: If you took longer than the average you may be at higher risk of falling. See below for how you compare with others in your age group

Attend our next Balance, Dizziness and Falls Prevention Workshop if you have more questions, or call us if you’d like to do more testing and create a balance training program.[ps2id id=’results1′ target=”/]

 

How long should you be able to stand on one leg?
Eyes Open Eyes Closed
Age Balance Time (seconds) Age Balance Time (seconds)
40 – 59 25 – 27 secs. 40 – 59 15 – 20 secs
60 – 69 20 – 25 60 – 69 9 – 12
70 – 79 10 – 15 70 – 79 7 – 8
80 5 – 6 80 4-5

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How long should it take you to stand?
Age Stand Time (seconds
60-69 11
70-79 13
80-89 15

The Death of Roger Ailes and Bathroom Safety

Roger Ailes and retired Army General John F. Campbell
Roger Ailes with U.S. Army Gen. (Ret.) John F. Campbell. Source: Sgt. Christopher Tobey

The death of Roger Ailes reminds us of the need for bathroom safety for senior citizens, for whom falls are the number-one cause injury-related deaths. The former Fox News Chairman and CEO died on Thurs. May 18, 2017, because of head trauma from a fall in his bathroom.  Here are some tips to make bathrooms safer for older adults.

Floors Use non-skid floor mats on the bathroom floor, especially near the tub. If the bathroom is larger, consider using multiple mats, or non-slip socks. Last but not least, install safer floor tiles for longterm independent living.

Tub Install handrails in the stability during while entering or exiting the bathtub. Place a suction mat or non-slip strips inside the bathtub. DO NOT use towel racks as handrails.

Toilet Use a handrail or elevated seat to make standing from the toilet easier.

It is not known whether or not Mr. Ailes installed safety supports in his bathroom. He purchased his home a mere eight months ago, and photos of the mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, include a photo of a bathtub that could certainly use some safety modifications. This underscores the need for caution when traveling to unfamiliar places–or when moving into a new home. Make it a priority to make this space as safe as possible, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The risks are too high. Be safe everybody.

Related: Balance, Dizziness and Falls Prevention Workshop

Free Physical Therapy Exams for Healthcare Professionals for National Nurses Week 2017

Nursing facilities and hospitals experience the second and 13th highest incidents of non-fatal workplace injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of those are injuries are related to direct care of patients. That’s why we’re dedicating National Nurses Week 2017 to healthcare professionals. From Mon. May 8th through Fri. May 12th of Nurses Week, we will be providing free exams for healthcare workers experiencing back pain, hip pain, neck pain-you name it.

Be Fit is the place where you can pursue your wellness goals, and wellness means not waiting to see if things will get better. Think of what would happen if your pain turned into something serious. It could happen, just like it happened to Be Fit owner Mary Lou Savino. She experienced pain while working at a skilled nursing facility but made the unfortunate choice to ignore her it. Since recovering from her injury, she has dedicated herself to helping others achieve wellness. She is a big advocate of taking time to take care of yourself. That way you can continue making others’ lives better. Schedule your free exam now for your stubborn, obnoxious pain! Call the (630) 964-4008 or click the link below.

Be Fit Nurses Week 2017 Week of Free Exams Flyer

Former Be Fit Therapist Now Works in Canine Rehab

Susan

We were sorry to see Susan, our former physical therapist, leave Be Fit in January, but it’s good to hear that she’s applying her considerable talents to caring for dogs. Some vet clinics use lasers for pain management post-surgery. Others are led by veterinarians skilled in therapeutic modalities such as acupuncture, while yet others have veterinary technicians certified in canine therapy. Susan will bring 35 years of expertise and a love orthopedic care to the clinic where she works. That’s why her boss hired her even before she finished her 40-hour internship. Susan is now a certified canine rehabilitation therapist (CCRT).

Susan is fast becoming acquainted with the peculiarities of providing physical therapy in the veterinary setting. The peculiarities range from getting wet to being “kissed” by the patients, to being nearly bitten by them. But the upside makes it all worthwhile.

“It is amazing the things they do [here],” Susan says. “Granted, none of it is inexpensive, but these owners are dedicated to their dogs and having them maintain a good quality of life.” Susan has brought her own dogs a nutritional evaluation and supplements.

The similarities between physical therapy and canine physical therapy exist in the PT principles themselves: Susan provides physical therapy palpation, joint and range-of-motion assessments, and mechanical modalities such as laser stimulation. Another similarity is in gaining trust from humans. “You have to get the owner to understand that you know what you’re doing” she says. She provides the dog owner a printout of exercises to do at home. Plus, she provides some training the exercises during the appointment.

Dog on underwater treadmill
Dog on underwater treadmill. Photo by MAJic2288

But the similarities end there. After all, a dog’s vocabulary is limited 165 simple words. A patient almost bit Susan on her first day because she had not yet learned its non-verbal communication (e.g. ears, the “whites” of eyes) or perfected holding a dog. “The vet said, ‘If I give you the look, you better watch out.’” Also, Susan gets wet on the underwater treadmill. Employing it is not as simple as turning it on. Training dogs for proper movement involves her bending over inside a glass rectangular box (“I do a lot of bending over”) to prevent dogs from knuckling, which is bearing weight on the top part of the foot instead of the pad of the paw.

Nevertheless, Susan says that her work is gratifying, and sometimes getting wet is welcomed. This work is gratifying. “I come home covered in dog hair and slobber everyday,” she says. “But yesterday we fitted a dog [for a prosthesis] that came out of surgery and was not able to use her back legs. We put her in the cart and—Oh my gosh! You have never seen a happier dog. It was so heartwarming.”

Special Announcement: 3-Part MELT Method Workshop Teaches “Mapping”

Attending the next MELT Method Workshop will be like getting two free workshops for the price of one. The cost of this workshop-in-three-parts is $30, which is a big deal since one hour-and-a-half workshop by itself is $30.

Here are the details:

May 4, 11, and 18, 2017 (3 Thursdays)
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm each day
At Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates
Cost: $30

The workshop-in-three-parts will teach more techniques–called maps–than are taught in the normal introductory MELT Method workshop. These new “maps” for the feet, hips, and back trace specific routes on the body to rejuvenate the connective tissues. The benefit is relief from low back pain, arthritis, bunions, plantar fascitis, and SI joint pain.

While individuals who have previously attended an introduction workshop will build upon the skills they have, the three-part series will be beginner-friendly for those new to The MELT Method.

Don’t miss this opportunity to add an extra dimension of wisdom and know-how to your self-care regimen. Exercise mats and rollers will be provided for use at the workshop.

See what others are saying…

Lucky Us. Be Fit’s IN.FORM Coach Is The Winner of A National Contest

Robin Lang, the certified health coach for the IN.FORM group at Be Fit, received top honors from Nature’s Sunshine in a nationwide contest of IN.FORM members.*

The award went to her because she made the most improvement in several biomarkers in addition to weight: body fat, visceral fat, muscle mass, and metabolic age.

Robin finished her IN.FORM modules in October. She lost 28 pounds, dropped three dress sizes, and experienced other remarkable benefits.

While her “Type A” personality may have contributed to her success, IN.FORM  is something anyone can do. Robin credits her success to a certified health coach who was there to answer her questions; and a group of peers that was  there to grant her support. These are the same resources available to all members of the Mind Core Body program.

*Nature’s Sunshine, Inc., is the creator of the IN.FORM system.

See IN.FORM membership prices

 

IN.FORM Student-Turned-Coach Details Her Successful Weight Loss

Robin Lang is a certified health coach who is teaching the nutritional wellness classes for our Mind Core Body program. Here she writes about her success being coached in IN.FORM.


I am a 56-year-old workaholic!  I work 2 full-time jobs and have always put everyone else first. My entire life I slept approximately 3 hours a night maximum. I have always had a weight problem not eating properly. No vegetables, rarely a meal. You could say I was a grazer. Except I lived on junk food and candy LITERALLY! I did not exercise and made no time for myself.

When I turned 50 things got worse.  I gained even more weight, had continuous heartburn to the point I would take a Pepcid every morning without fail.  The palms of my hands began to blister, itch and peel along with a red extremely itchy rash on my legs, and I felt sluggish and horrible all day. It seemed like I was falling apart quickly!

A good friend signed me up for a class with Nature’s Sunshine [the creator of IN.FORM].  I took the plunge and did the entire 13-week program with Linda, my coach, guiding me every step of the way.  Without her coaching I would have never been able to accomplish what I have.  I lost 28 pounds and lowered my metabolic age of 64 down to 39!  I no longer have that itchy rash; hands are clear, no blisters, and I no longer take Pepcid. I have dropped several pant sizes, from size 14 size 8. I am now much healthier, happier and sleeping on average 7 hours a night. I eat my meals and healthy snacks properly, and since starting the program, I have had NO candy.  Which is amazing being I lived on it for 56 years!

It is so wonderful to hear the nice comments from friends and colleagues on how wonderful I look and to be called skinny.  Never in my life has the word skinny been used to describe me.

My husband is my biggest supporter and tells me daily how great I look and that my skin is so soft and has a healthy glow now. Due to my success, my husband has also started the NS [Nature’s Sunshine] kit to get gut healthy and lower his cholesterol. So it is now our family way of life.

This journey was a life change for me and a fabulous one at that. I could not have done it without the support and accountability from all the wonderful people I met on my journey.  Linda and NS will always be a big part of my new, healthy lifestyle.