Getting older doesn't mean life has to slow down. On the contrary, with the advances in modern medicine, the average life-span continues to increase. Unfortunately, growing older also brings growing risk to injuries that don't typically effect younger adults. As we get older, our balance and coordination start becoming an issue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that one in three adults aged 65 and older fall each year. In 2015, costs for falls by senior citizens to Medicare alone totaled over $31 billion in direct medical costs.
One proven way to improve balance and reduce falls is to practice the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi. In fact, the American Journal of Geriatrics and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) have identified Tai Chi as an effective exercise methodology to improve balance. Research has also found that Tai Chi can help reduce falls upwards of 55 percent in the Medicare population.
Aetna recently conducted a pilot program that encouraged Medicare members in Maine to practice Tai Chi. Developed with a local Tai Chi expert and the Agencies on Aging serving the eastern, central and southern sections of Maine, the program had more than 140 Aetna members practicing Tai Chi two times a week for six months. In the program’s first year, participants reported about 20 percent fewer falls and a 20 percent reduction in anxiety about falls, when compared with a control group.
Try our Tai Chi for Life classes. We focus on improving your balance. Strengthening your legs. Gentle stretching exercises to make you more flexible. We also work with seniors to ensure that if a fall does happen, how to get up from the ground. Lastly, ask about our Tai Chi program that is designed to improve our Seniors way of life.