National-Senior-Games-Association
Written by Craig B

National Senior Games Association

If you enjoyed playing sports as a professional or amateur in your younger days, there is no reason you cannot continue to enjoy some form of sport as a senior. To that end, the National Senior Games Association hosts bi-annual games in the United States, welcoming all seniors to as the Olmpic motto has it: “Citius, Altius, Fortius” “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.” Read on to learn more.

Currently, the National Senior Games Association offers the following sports:

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Horseshoes
  • Pickleball
  • Power Walk
  • Race Walk
  • Rqcquetball
  • Road Race
  • Shuffleboard
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Triathlon and Tri Relay
  • Volleyball

Qualifiers for the games are held all over the country, You can check out locations near you, here.

To qualify for the 2021 National Senior Games, an athlete must be at least 50 years old by December 31, 2020.

It is important to be aware of the ruels for events and you can read up on them here.

If you are not able to qualify, the national Senior Games always enjoys having volunteers to help the games run smoothly and you can read more about those opportunities here.

You can learn more about the National Senior Games Association, here.

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Great Balance Exercises For Seniors
Written by Craig B

Great Balance Exercises For Seniors

Most seniors love to stay active. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, activity is vital in independent and assisted living facilities. With a plethora of exercises and games available across the state, we’ve hand-picked some of the best physical games for seniors.

Yoga

Yoga is the perfect activity for the indoors or outdoors-man. This is a highly effective practice for senior citizens. Yoga is comprised of controlled body positions and stretches, with a goal of physical and mental well-being. The activity is perfect for participants looking to attain deep spiritual tranquility. This is one hobby that is great for the body and soul!

Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits for yoga participants. Weight loss is, of course, at the top of the list. With the possible weight loss comes a more balanced metabolism, with a lowering of blood sugar and blood pressure. But, that’s not all! Yoga can result in increased muscle strength, flexibility and better balance. Yoga, which is a practice believed to be more than 5,000 years old, has been shown to improve cardiovascular and blood circulation, as well.

Shuffleboard

Beginning in 15th century English pubs, this sport has constantly changed over time, but the goal has remained the same. This is one of the most popular sports to play for seniors because of its competitive, yet lighthearted nature. A player wins in shuffleboard when reaching a score of 15, but some bigger tournaments could require 21 points for a win. Alternating turns, each player slides four weights across an opponent’s board. Sliding your weights to the highest available scoring area is the objective here. Players can also knock opposing weights off the board with their own weights or use them to protect their current score.

Health Benefits

Shuffleboard increases heart rate and reduces stress at the very same time. Another benefit is the obvious workout for various muscle groups.

Line Dancing

A simple way to take part in the recommended 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day is by partaking in line dancing. The sport is great for the heart and it keeps its dancers healthy and in shape. If you’re intimidated by dancing, there is no need to worry because line dancing is the perfect exercise for beginners.

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits in the world of line dancing. Improved stamina, posture and balance are just some of the benefits. The exercise can lower stress and improve stamina in the process. Avid dancers may see a lowered risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, as well.

Bocce Ball

This sport’s history is fascinating! Dating back to ancient Egypt in 5200 B.C., bocce ball’s popularity began to soar in Greece hundreds of years later. The sport made its way to Belgium, Flanders and Holland after that. Bocce ball took center stage during the first Bocce Olympiad held in Athens in 1896. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the sport officially took off in the United States, though. Open Bocce is the most played version of the game. Eight balls, plus a smaller ball (pallino) are shared between 2, 4, 6 or 8 players. A random player is chosen to throw the pallino first, then all participants try to get their ball closest to the pallino. The closest to the pallino receives one point after each round. Additional points are awarded when the leader’s ball is closer to the pallino than any other opponent’s shots. Once a total of 13 points is attained by one player, a winner is crowned.

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Physical Games For Seniors
Written by Craig B

Physical Games For Seniors

Most seniors love to stay active. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, activity is vital in independent and assisted living facilities. With a plethora of exercises and games available across the state, we’ve hand-picked some of the best physical games for seniors.

Yoga

Yoga is the perfect activity for the indoors or outdoors-man. This is a highly effective practice for senior citizens. Yoga is comprised of controlled body positions and stretches, with a goal of physical and mental well-being. The activity is perfect for participants looking to attain deep spiritual tranquility. This is one hobby that is great for the body and soul!

Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits for yoga participants. Weight loss is, of course, at the top of the list. With the possible weight loss comes a more balanced metabolism, with a lowering of blood sugar and blood pressure. But, that’s not all! Yoga can result in increased muscle strength, flexibility and better balance. Yoga, which is a practice believed to be more than 5,000 years old, has been shown to improve cardiovascular and blood circulation, as well.

Shuffleboard

Beginning in 15th century English pubs, this sport has constantly changed over time, but the goal has remained the same. This is one of the most popular sports to play for seniors because of its competitive, yet lighthearted nature. A player wins in shuffleboard when reaching a score of 15, but some bigger tournaments could require 21 points for a win. Alternating turns, each player slides four weights across an opponent’s board. Sliding your weights to the highest available scoring area is the objective here. Players can also knock opposing weights off the board with their own weights or use them to protect their current score.

Health Benefits

Shuffleboard increases heart rate and reduces stress at the very same time. Another benefit is the obvious workout for various muscle groups.

Line Dancing

A simple way to take part in the recommended 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day is by partaking in line dancing. The sport is great for the heart and it keeps its dancers healthy and in shape. If you’re intimidated by dancing, there is no need to worry because line dancing is the perfect exercise for beginners.

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits in the world of line dancing. Improved stamina, posture and balance are just some of the benefits. The exercise can lower stress and improve stamina in the process. Avid dancers may see a lowered risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, as well.

Bocce Ball

This sport’s history is fascinating! Dating back to ancient Egypt in 5200 B.C., bocce ball’s popularity began to soar in Greece hundreds of years later. The sport made its way to Belgium, Flanders and Holland after that. Bocce ball took center stage during the first Bocce Olympiad held in Athens in 1896. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the sport officially took off in the United States, though. Open Bocce is the most played version of the game. Eight balls, plus a smaller ball (pallino) are shared between 2, 4, 6 or 8 players. A random player is chosen to throw the pallino first, then all participants try to get their ball closest to the pallino. The closest to the pallino receives one point after each round. Additional points are awarded when the leader’s ball is closer to the pallino than any other opponent’s shots. Once a total of 13 points is attained by one player, a winner is crowned.

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Getting Your Home Ready For Knee Or Hip Surgery
Written by Craig B

Getting Your Home Ready For Knee Or Hip Surgery

The Government website Medlineplus offers the following advice on preparing your home for knee or hip surgery. You can see the original article, here.

Before you go to the hospital for surgery, set up your home to make your recovery and life easier when you come back. Do this well in advance of your surgery.

Ask your health care provider or physical therapist about getting your home ready.

Make It Easy for Yourself

Make sure everything you need is easy to get to and on the floor where you will spend most of your time. Limit your stair use to once a day.

  • Have a bed that is low enough so that your feet touch the floor when you sit on the edge of the bed.
  • Set up your bed on the first floor if you can. You may not need a hospital bed, but your mattress should be firm.
  • Have a bathroom or a portable commode on the same floor where you will spend most of your day.
  • Stock up on canned or frozen food, toilet paper, shampoo, and other personal items.
  • Make or buy single meals that can be frozen and reheated.
  • Make sure you can reach everything you need without getting on your tiptoes or bending down low.
  • Put food and other supplies in a cupboard that is between your waist and shoulder level.
  • Place glasses, your teapot, and other items you use a lot on the kitchen counter.
  • Make sure you can get to your phone. A portable phone can be helpful.
  • Place a chair with a firm back in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and other rooms you will use. This way, you can sit when you do your daily tasks.
  • If you will be using a walker, attach a sturdy bag or a small basket. Put in it the things you need to have close by such as your phone, a notepad, a pen, and other necessary items. You can also use a fanny pack.

You may need help bathing, using the toilet, cooking, running errands, shopping, going to provider visits, and exercising. If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 1 or 2 weeks after surgery, ask your provider about having a trained caregiver come to your home. This person can also check the safety of your home and help you with your daily activities.

Other items that may help:

  • A shower sponge with a long handle
  • A shoehorn with a long handle
  • A cane, crutches, or a walker
  • A reacher to help you pick up things from the floor, put on your pants, and take off your socks
  • A sock aid to help you put on your socks
  • Handle bars in the bathroom to allow you to steady yourself

Bathroom Setup

Raising the toilet seat height will keep you from flexing your knee too much. You can do this by adding a seat cover or elevated toilet seat or a toilet safety frame. You can also use a commode chair instead of a toilet.

You may need to have safety bars in your bathroom. Grab bars should be secured vertically or horizontally to the wall, not diagonally.

  • DO NOT use towel racks as grab bars. They cannot support your weight.
  • You will need two grab bars. One helps you get in and out of the tub. The other helps you stand from a sitting position.

You can make several changes to protect yourself when you take a bath or shower:

  • Put non-slip suction mats or rubber silicone decals in the tub to prevent falls.
  • Use a non-skid bath mat outside the tub for firm footing.
  • Keep the floor outside the tub or shower dry.
  • Place soap and shampoo where you do not need to stand up, reach, or twist.

Sit on a bath or shower chair when taking a shower:

  • Make sure it has rubber tips on the bottom.
  • Buy a seat without arms if it is placed in a bathtub.

Avoiding Falls

Keep tripping hazards out of your home.

  • Remove loose wires or cords from areas you walk through to get from one room to another.
  • Remove loose throw rugs.
  • Fix any uneven flooring in doorways. Use good lighting.
  • Have night lights placed in hallways and rooms that can be dark.

Pets that are small or move around may cause you to trip. For the first few weeks you are home, consider having your pet stay elsewhere (with a friend, in a kennel, or in the yard).

DO NOT carry anything when you are walking around. You may need your hands to help you balance. Use a small backpack or fanny pack to carry things such as your phone.

Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair. It is especially important to practice the correct ways to:

  • Sit down to use the toilet and stand up after using the toilet
  • Get in and out of the shower
  • Use the shower chair
  • Go up and down stairs

Alternative Names

Hip or knee surgery – getting your home ready; Osteoarthritis – knee

References

Niska JA, Petrigliano FA, McAllister DR. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries (including revision). In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 98.

Rizzo TD. Total hip replacement. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 61.

Weinlein JC. Fractures and dislocations of the hip. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, Canale ST, eds. Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 55.

Review Date 11/5/2018

Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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When Denial Gets in the Way of Safety

As we age, there is no doubt in our hearts we feel young. And although being young at heart is wonderful, this ethereal feeling is no match for the ever-changing state of our bodies and the status of our health.

As we age, changes take place with our health that can dramatically affect our ability to navigate our home environment safely. Although falls are not necessarily a part of aging, 40% of nursing home admissions are due to slip and fall accidents. These accidents can affect the course of our ability to be independent and live quality lives at home.

Of course walking around in bubble wrap to keep from falling in your home is not a doable solution – it’s hot, unsightly, and frankly not a fashion stopper. Many individuals elect to do nothing, feeling invincible. This denial can lead to unexpected accidents, which then brings you into crisis mode. However, seeking preventative solutions in advance of a potential crisis, is the most optimal way to stay safe while aging at home. Intervention IS prevention.

Top of your list should be a Home Safety Assessment. The American and British Geriatric Societies report, “ Multifactorial risk assessment and intervention strategies are effective in decreasing the rates of falls and have a similar risk reduction to that of other prevention measures such as statins for cardiovascular disease”.

What can I expect from a home safety assessment? Who will evaluate my environment? What happens following the assessment?

Our physical therapist provides a home safety assessment, during which time, not only will you be evaluated navigating your home environment, but the environment itself will be evaluated for safety hazards in a variety of rooms, including the bathroom, where falls occur most frequently in the home.

The therapist will make clinical recommendations based on your individual diagnosis or physical limitations to ensure optimal fall prevention safety outcomes, customized for you in your space.

We complete the process by providing and clinically installing all needed items. We provide a warranty for all of our products and services, and we are licensed, bonded and insured.

You may not have concerns about falling now, but denying that it’s a possibility puts you at greater risk. Once injuries occur from falls, often there is no turning back. Protect your health, independence and future, scheduled your clinically guided home safety assessment.

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How Does Your Home Rate on Fall Prevention Safety? A Room-by-Room Guide

We’ve all read about things we can do to avoid unnecessary slip and fall accidents in our home, but how closely have you looked at specifics. Here are a few things you can do in your home, you may not have thought of, addressed or knew would assist you in being falls free in and around your home:

  1. Ensure exterior pathways are free of holes, loose stones/bricks, uneven pavement, debris or other slipping hazards.
  2. All entrances are clutter free.
  3. Handrails are present on both sides of all steps and stairways both inside and outside the home.
  4. Kitchen cabinets are easily accessible, with frequently used items placed on lower shelves.
  5. Uncarpeted steps feature a non-slip surface such as adhesive strips.
  6. Electrical and phone cords are placed out of the way, along the wall.
  7. Hallway lighting is easily accessible.
  1. Safety grab bars are present at shower entry and interior of shower as needed.
  2. Bathroom rugs should be rubber, based, non-slip. Bathroom floors, tubs and shower surfaces are treated with non-slip product to ensure increased COF (Coefficient of Friction), when surfaces are wet – critically reducing fall risk – Note: The Bathroom is the number one place for falls in the home).
  3. Access to telephones both landline and/or mobile in or near multiple rooms, including the bathroom.
  4. Furniture should be arranged to allow for easy, obstacle free passage.
  5. Do doorways safely accommodate walkers, wheelchairs and/or transport chairs?

If you or a loved one is uncertain about falls risk factors in your home, schedule a free home safety assessment today, performed by a MEASURAbilities Home Safety Physical Therapist, who will provide clinically guided solutions for you in your environment.

Learn About Our Home Safety Assessments Performed by a Physical Therapist

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Conversations to Have with Your Aging Parents: Creating a Falls-Free World

We often worry about our aging parents’ safety, well-being and even fiscal health, and many adult children find themselves in the sometimes-awkward position of having to bring up these sensitive conversations with aging parents.

Among these concerns, fall prevention may be the hardest to bring up – especially if your parents have chosen to retain their independence by aging in place. Many older adults experience a certain amount of denial about their physical capabilities, which makes it hard to ring up sensitive issues like fall prevention.

Keep reading for some simple ways to broach the conversation with your parents.

Find Support in Family and Friends

This is a tough conversation but a necessary one. Ask your loved one if they are concerned about falling or have taken any spills. Many older adults recognize that falling is a risk but believe it won’t happen to them – even if they’ve already fallen in the past.

If they’re concerned about dizziness, environmental concerns, medications, foot issues or balance, suggest that they talk to a health care provider who can assess their risk and recommend services that can help.

Discuss Current Health Conditions

Are your loved ones experiencing challenges managing their own health? Having problems or concerns about medication management? Forgetting to take their medications?

Things that were once easily doable tasks are now more challenging for them. Make them aware that Medicare offers preventative benefits which they can take advantage of – such as the Annual Wellness visit. Encourage them to speak openly with their health care provider about all their concerns.

Ask About Their Last Vision Exam

If your elderly family member or friend wears glasses, make sure their prescription is current. Many are not aware that using lenses where the tinting changes can cause problems when going from bright sunlight into darkened areas.

Changing glasses upon entry or exit is often helpful to allow time for their lenses to adjust. Those dealing with low vision issues should consult their eye doctor.

Observe Behaviors of Holding onto Walls, Chairs, Tables, etc. for Ambulating Their Environment

These are all signs there might be balance or other related issues which a trained physical therapist could diagnose. Through physical therapy, increased balance, strength and conditioning and reduce fall risk.

Additionally, the physical therapist may recommend walking and/or assistive devices to help keep them safe when transferring sit to stand or being mobile in their home and outside environments.

Have a Conversation About Medications

If your older loved one is having a hard time keeping track of medicines or is experiencing side effects, encourage them to have a conversation with their doctor or pharmacist. Suggest that they have their medications reviewed each time they get a new prescription.

My mom had an elaborate spreadsheet to keep track of her medications and schedules. Adding a timed medication dispenser that my sister refilled each month promoted her peace of mind and allowed us to ensure her adherence to the prescribed regime.

Also, beware of non-prescription medications that contain sleep aids—including painkillers with “PM” in their names. These can lead to balance issues and dizziness. If your older loved one is having sleeping problems, encourage them to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about safer alternatives.

Do A Walk-Through Safety Assessment of Their Home

There are many simple and inexpensive ways to make a home safer. For professional assistance, consult MEASURAbilities Home Safety. Our physical therapist provides free home safety assessments and customized, clinically guided recommendations and installations.

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