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    • #19607
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      My Dad worries about balance. He does a great job of navigating the house and leaning on solid structures when required. But we worry that he’ll fall when no one else is around. I’ve been looking for ways to keep him safe, regardless of who is home. What do you do to prevent yourself from falling?

    • #19831
      Beth T Browne
      Participant

      Good question.  I just started noticing I have some balance issues.  My new primary thought I should get a Life Alert thing you wear around your necklace or a bracelet.  He said even though I have a cell phone, it may be difficult to always carry it around with you, so if you fall, and need help, what do you do.

      If anyone out there has one of these, or knows the best one for the money, I would like to hear.  As far as your dad, my movement doctor also suggest some therapy for balance.  It is a drive for me, but I may try that.  Exercise is so important, I have been told, so it probably would help.  I have been trying to walk daily, so if he can do that, it would help.

      Beth

       

    • #19832
      RJ Hayden
      Participant

      A couple of falls which screwed up my left knee brought me to the realization that it is almost a function of ‘mind over matter’ . . . meaning that I constantly have to think about what I do, where I go and how I step.  Movement is no longer an unconscious effort which can be very frustrating.  I have found that initiating the step was the most challenging so I had to learn a few tricks that helped. A short step to the side or back seems to help. My meds don’t always work so there are times when I have more confidence in moving from place to place than others and I’ve had to adjust where I go in the house. When my meds are ‘off’, I also always have a cane handy.

    • #19833

      I got a life-alert and feel a lot more secure

    • #19835
      Marlene Donnelly
      Participant

      I was diagnosed with PD about 10 years ago and am 73 years old. During the first couple of years I had a couple of really bad falls. Then I signed up for a T’ai Chi class at my local hospital. That helped me focus on the steps I take, first starting on the heel and moving toward the toe. What had been happening was that I was putting my whole foot down at the same time when I took a step, thus stubbing my toe into anything not perfectly flat, which sent me flying. The class has made all the difference. First of all, I love my classes (now I take t’ai chi and yoga – either from the hospital or from the local libraries – the more I can find, the better!). They are fun, and now they are on Zoom so I can safely do them from home during the pandemic. Secondly, since I began taking my first class, I have not fallen again, and that was years ago.

    • #19852
      John Carter
      Participant

      I’m 74 and have had PD related balance issues for the past couple of years. And I have fallen several times; fortunately no hospitalization was required. So, I try to focus on good posture and avoid the forward leaning stoop. When walking, I consciously try to keep a slow pace and make sure I put my heels down first. When I get out of sync, I stop and do a reset. This includes resetting my posture, getting my head and neck up and starting out with a consciously large step forward.

    • #20075
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      Marlene, I’ve taken Tai Chi classes before, too. But I’ve never thought about using them to manage PD symptoms. Brilliant! I’d imagine that they increase strength and mobility AND they target balance. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • #20077
      Charles Schiller
      Participant

      I’m 78, widower, live alone. I get physical therapy, twice a week for an hour each, work with a trainer twice a week, half hour each. That’s a total of 3 hrs a week of rather intense stretching, weight and resistance training and exercises for balance. Also, Tai Chi as motivated via the ‘Net. It’s free on You Tube  with specific movements for PD. I was diagnosed a year ago, early stage. I’ve fallen a few times, didn’t hurt myself. I take big steps, concentrate each step. “ Consciousness Raising” for my generation. I too have an alert beeper plus my cellphone. I KNOW my balance has improved and I’m stronger, more flexible, from my doing all this.

    • #20080
      John H
      Participant

      I am 80 years old. Diagnose with PD at 75. Daily I follow the BIG program exercises. I have not yet fallen. When I start having a walking problems. I start walking with gorila steps. Wide and longer steps. I feel when taking shorter steps I get the feeling of falling.

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