Stan Cohen – Senior Wellness

Posts Tagged ‘balance

As a teacher of movement and balance exercises for seniors in Independent and assisted living center, I run across a good number of seniors who are used to sitting and doing nothing during the course of a normal day. I find this to be true also of most over 80 seniors who are home bound.

Having been a caregiver to my mother-in-law and working with my mom who is in her 80’s the main issues for them not exercising is not what I first thought it would be. I used to think they just don’t care and have chosen to give up and as a result have let themselves go.  Read the rest of this entry »

This is my first post in quite some time.  to be honest, I’ve been very busy working on my seniors and family care givers website and have not had much time to think about blogging.

But, just this past week in one of my classes at The House of Good Shepherd I had quite a conversation with one of the independent living residents.

The women, let’s call her June, was in class last month and was telling me that the following day she was going for therapy and was going to have to “walk the plank”.  I asked her about this and she informed me that part of her therapy was going to be working on her balance by walking heel to toe on a 6″ wide board, about 8 feet long.

I asked if she was comfortable with this idea and she said “no, I don’t have very good balance and I am afraid of falling over”.  Since she was new to class I asked her if she knew anything about the rolling walk, or the heel first method of stepping.  Again she said no.

We proceeded to practice this simple “Tai Chi” style of taking a balanced, heel to toe rolling step. First as baby steps and worked it into a slightly smaller than normal step. We then did this near a wall where she would finger touch for balance and she tried the heel in front of the other foot toe walk.

To her surprise, she felt comfortable with it. Still needing practice, and lots of it of course, the thanked me and we went our separate ways.

Just yesterday, the first day seeing her since, she told me that she amazed the therapist by having no trouble on the board using the method I showed her.  I asked if the therapist mentioned the walk and she said no, but he was very interested in what she was doing”.

I continued to ask questions on what they were teaching her at physical therapy and she said “they don’t teach me anything” and “I learn more in this class about building my balance and safety then with them by far”.

Now, this is the bottom line of my peeve. I am not a physical therapist. I teach common sense movement based in Tai Chi theory.  I am not a “licensed professional”  from any institute yet I hear these similar type comments from most of my elder students.

The question is, why don’t they teach people how to walk, how to stand, how to build balance and leg strength using simple exercises that are withing their range of capabilities?

I would love some comments on this issue.  Have you experienced this and if so, how do you work on building your capabilities?

 

Walter Adamson
At Dawn We Slept

Ever wondered how “moderate” moderate exercise is – what does it mean? When it’s said for example that seniors should undertake moderate exercise, or “even moderate exercise” can reduce belly fat, how much exercise is required?

Here’s your answer. Read the rest of this entry »

 My mother, at age 80 is very active and living in a typical Florida retirement community.  On a visit to her she was discussing some physical issues that were due too natural aging.  Her issues were loss of muscle tone, declining energy, overall stiffness and soreness.  We discussed the exercise programs offered in her community.  She mentioned that the exercise equipment was too strenuous, Traditional Tai Chi was to complex for her too understand and the aerobics too difficult. Overall, she was frustrated by the lack of a program that she felt comfortable with to build her balance and flexibility. Read the rest of this entry »

I see and read so many articles that talk solely about the physical aspect of  older adult and senior fitness.  Granted, I teach a fitness program in Independent and Assisted living centers, so I yes I strongly believe keeping active is an integral part of the wellness package.  However, it is only one part.

I believe in the whole person concept of wellness and fitness.  As people, our lives are comprised of a myriad of parts.  We need to keep a balance in our lives.  Although we are all similar, we all crave different amounts of each area that are important, which is what makes us unique.  Most of us do require the following to be whole fit: Read the rest of this entry »

Stan Cohen
Founder of ChiForLiving and Maturity Matters

I normally do not rant, and I hope not too in this post either.  We will see how it goes and how well I keep myself in check using my own breathing and mind calming techniques,  the same ones I teach the seniors in class.

This post is about the quality of care, and giving the residents value in the area of entertainment.  For those of you who don’t know what I personally do,  I teach a program that I developed that enables increases in balance,  flexibility and range of motion in older adults. The program goes as far as teaching how to incorporate the movements into everyday life so that the benefits carry across to the seniors overall wellness.

Now, I have been teaching this for several years. In trying to expand to new locations I find it is an uphill battle. I face the typical budgetary constraint wall.  I face the “we already have what you do” wall.  I face this wall and that wall.  Occasionally I get someone who “gets it” and I am brought in to teach. Read the rest of this entry »


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