New program helps older adults keep their balance

Jasmine Phu

March 18, 2011

One class that is trying to help seniors improve their balance and coordination is taking place in Ontario, New York, according to The Democrat and Chronicle. The key is testing how well older adults can support their own body weight.

Kathleen Barbehenn, 63, does this on her own by balancing on one foot and using the grocery cart for support when she’s waiting in line at the store. However, start-up company Engineering in Henrietta, has taken these tests to the next level by introducing a system that measures the stability of the body.

It comes in the form of a balance board that records how much weight a user places on either leg and can also measure coordination during a simulated walking motion.

Those who are worried about their own balance may want to invest in a personal emergency response system. Medical alert systems can be used to instantly send a medical alert to caregivers or doctors in the case of an unexpected injury.

Falls can have a devastating effect on a senior’s independence, as the incidents can lead to broken bones or hip fractures that can restrict mobility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one out of every three adults over age 65 will fall each year.

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