Martial arts, medical alert system can help seniors with falls

Alan Wu

December 16, 2010

Falls are one of the most common injuries that occurs among senior citizens, with the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control estimating that one in three adults over the age of 65 fall each year.

There have been many exercises aimed at improving the balance and strength of older adults and a 2010 Dutch study supported by the Organisation for Healthcare Research in the Netherlands has shown that martial arts may have a significant effect. This is because specific training in reducing the impact of falls can minimize impact and injury.

Researchers found that, by turning a slip into a rolling movement, bending and twisting the torso and neck, it is possible for adults to escape a fall unscathed.

"Since martial arts techniques reduce hip impact forces and can be learned by older persons, martial arts fall training may prevent hip fractures among persons with osteoporosis," researcher Brenda Groen concluded in the report.

If one does fall, it's best to have a way to contact a neighbor or doctor. Installing a medical alert system in a home allows older adults to instantly send a medical alert message so that they can receive assistance in the case of an emergency.