Hello Keep Well community!
My name is Joe Brooker. My family and I recently moved to the North Shore, and I am lucky enough to be joining the Keep Well board. I have been able to visit a few Keep Well sites to see first hand some of you in action doing the KW exercise program. I’ll be visiting a couple more of the sites in the coming months.
I am a practicing physiotherapist and I hope to share my expertise with you by writing an ‘Ask a Physio’ column from time to time, which will be published on the Keep Well website. My plan is to address common concerns for seniors and also respond to questions and concerns from members. Please feel free to send me topic suggestions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s topic is about balance. Balance is important to help reduce the risk of a fall, as well as making daily tasks such as walking, using stairs and reaching easier. As we get older falls can have significant consequences: they can lead to reduced mobility or independence, or result in hospitalization. But the good news is that there are simple things we can do to improve our balance to help prevent a fall from happening.
One program I refer to often at the clinic is the ‘Strategies and Actions for Independent Living’ (SAIL) program, which is a great resource for those interested in maintaining or improving their balance and reducing their risk of a fall.
There are 3 levels of the SAIL program, each consisting of 7 exercises: the exercises in the first level are all done in a sitting position; the second are all done standing using a counter for support; and the third are all done while moving (to access the SAIL levels, please click on the words first, second and third).
The goal is to choose the level that safely helps you challenge your balance. Consistency is the key, so doing them at least every second day is suggested for best results.
It’s been a pleasure meeting so many of you these past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you in the coming months.
Joe Brooker (Physiotherapist at North Shore Sports Medicine)
References and Additional Resources:
In the future, all the “Ask a Physio” columns will be located under the Wellness section of the website.