submitted by Catherine White/Shannon Mulhall for Focus on Health

Every  month starting in October through to April, Focus on Health invites local experts and professionals, to speak on health topics that are important to our community.

On October 10th, Kim Young will be presenting Fall Prevention and Re-gaining Balance and Stability.  Kim is a Director with the East Shore Kootenay Lake Community Health Society, a Precision Nutrition certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, Functional Aging Specialist and Reiki Master who lives in Kootenay Bay with her husband Jim and their dog Jax.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Kim about Functional Aging and its important role in helping those that are 50+ maintain their independence and enhance their quality of life using strength training and functional movement exercises.

As we age, it is normal to lose bone mass and some muscle strength.  These two factors can contribute to falls and potentially serious injury requiring hospitalization.  About one third of the senior population over the age of 65 falls each year, but since many incidents go unreported by seniors, and unrecognized by family members or caregivers – this estimate is most likely quite low.

While many falls do not result in injuries, 47% of non-injured seniors who fall cannot get up without assistance.  For seniors who fall and are unable to get up on their own, the period of time spent immobile often affects their health outcomes.  Muscle cell breakdown starts to occur within 30-60 minutes of compression due to falling.  Dehydration, pressure sores, hypothermia, and pneumonia are other complications that may result.

Falls with or without injury, also carry a heavy quality of life impact.  A growing number of older adults fear falling and as a result, limit their activities and social engagements.  This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.  The most profound effect of falling is the loss of independent living.

We’ve all heard the saying, “use it or lose it.”  Luckily, our bodies have the amazing ability to regain a majority of our previous fitness level, thanks to muscle memory.  By practicing functional balance and flexibility exercises, the body and mind are strengthened.  Day to day activities rely on our body and mind to communicate and work as a team.

When faced with a loss of balance, someone who has maintained a level of functional strength and mobility, experiences a more intuitive response.  The body and mind work together in correcting the imbalance and react appropriately to prevent the fall.  However, should a fall be unavoidable, getting up independently afterward reduces the potential for serious injury and extended medical attention.

Join Us! So grab your neighbour and join us on October 10th at the Crawford Bay Hall.  Please wear comfortable clothing as this presentation includes practicing balance and stability exercises.  All mobility levels are welcome.!

Admission is $5 and includes soup served at 12 noon, followed by a presentation from 12:30 to 1:30.  For more information or to volunteer with soup making, please contact Cathy White at or (403)304-2622.  Complimentary blood pressure monitoring is provided by Sharon Webster, Community Paramedic Riondel.

Transportation is also available through Better at Home.  Please contact Rebecca Fuzzen at (250)505-6717 to book your ride.

On another health note: please be advised that there will be no lab hours at the East Shore Health Centre on Weds, Oct 9. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.