One of the plagues of aging is falling—even perfectly healthy seniors with no pre-existing medical problems have a greater chance of taking a tumble than someone younger. Nationwide, an older (over 65) person is in the ER every eleven seconds due to a fall. By age 85, two-thirds of all injury-related deaths are due to a fall. In 2013, approximately 50% of traumatic brain injury cases were due to elderly. Since 2014, twenty-nine million elderly Americans sustained injuries resulting from a fall, amounting to health costs of $31 billion! Furthermore, 95% of hip fractures happen in our older population, with the risk growing and increasing as you age—and the fastest-growing age group in the United States are those over 85.
Protect Yourself from Taking a Fall
Many seniors are on medications that may sedate them, impairing awareness of their surroundings and their reaction times to imminent danger. For example, an unnoticed cord or pet may be in their path and when encountering these obstacles, they cannot react fast enough to keep themselves from tripping. Two-thirds of falls don’t happen from a height; rather, they occur on level ground when the person slips or trips over something. Movement disorders such as MS or Parkinson’s disease can add to the risk of falling and factors such as exhaustion due to suffering from insomnia or nocturia can slow reaction times. Obesity can also be a factor in falling since those with abdominal fat are more likely to have this problem. Another problem is lower body weakness due to a lack of physical activity. In one sense, this weakness leads to fear of falling, which increases the odds of having an accident.
Decrease the Odds of Falling as You Age
Naturally, treatment of insomnia and nocturia, maintaining proper weight, and, if possible, being off prescription drugs that impair mental acuity are all helpful in decreasing the odds of a fall. Of course, addressing these issues when younger would be most beneficial, but it is never too late to improve your health. The issue of exercise and strength is of course also in play. Maybe you can’t get to the gym regularly, or ailments such as arthritis or back problems prevent you from doing as much as necessary for good abdominal and leg strength.
At Sculpted Wellness, we offer EMSCULPT NEO, a breakthrough, non-invasive technology that simultaneously delivers heat and magnetic energy for targeted fat reduction and muscle growth. On average, there is a 30% fat loss and 25% increase in muscle mass after only four treatments. Results are maintained for a year unless, of course, you increase the amount you eat. By targeting the abdomen and the thighs, you can build core strength, thus decreasing your chances of falling.
One senior client who, due to her instability while walking, previously required the aid of a grocery cart when shopping, even if only shopping for one or two items, reports she can now walk-through Stop and Shop without a cart. She says, “You may not think this is a big deal, but it is!” Another older client said that he wanted the strength to bend down and pick up his grandchild, which he can now do. These results were easily accomplished by lying passively on a table with specialized HIFEM+RF (High-Frequency Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency) treatment paddles applied to specific areas. EMSCULPT NEO treatments are painless and non-invasive. With just four 30-minute sessions, these sessions are equivalent to approximately three months of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts in the gym.
Urinary Incontinence (UI) and Aging
Urinary incontinence studies show that about half of older women and approximately 25% of older men suffer from UI. Common causes and contributing factors to UI for both men and women are obesity, alcohol, smoking, citrus fruits, caffeine, constipation, neurological conditions like MS and Alzheimer’s, tumors, and aging. For women, childbirth and menopause are significant factors; for men, an enlarged prostate can contribute to UI.
There are different types of UI, with stress incontinence and urge incontinence being the main types. Stress incontinence refers to urinary leaks from the stress of laughing, sneezing, coughing, or lifting something heavy. Urge incontinence is when you have a sudden intense urge to urinate and may not be able to make it to the toilet. Frequent urination may have you always looking for a bathroom and is a problem that can interfere with sleep.
UI is a growing problem as our population increases in age; it may be embarrassing, can lower self-esteem, and interfere with one’s sex life. There are various treatments to help urinary incontinence, including limiting fluid intake; avoiding alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits; and losing weight may all be helpful. Training to hold your urine for increasingly longer intervals and scheduling toilet times may be beneficial. For men, shrinking the prostate may be helpful.
UI Due to Weak Pelvic Muscles
Common recommendations may be strengthening Kegel exercises, drugs to calm or empty the bladder, surgery for women to create a sling from their tissue, or a synthetic mesh to support the pelvic floor. Now, there is a “magic” chair offered by Sculpted Wellness for men and women called the EMSELLA, a completely unique system to treat the entire pelvic floor and delivers thousands of contractions per session. Patients remain fully clothed while sitting on the EMSELLA chair; electromagnetic waves at various frequencies cause all the pelvic floor muscles to contract, resulting in the strengthening of all the pelvic floor muscles.
EMSELLA is FDA-approved to treat incontinence. There is no pain; sessions are non-invasive with no downtime after treatment—just sit and relax. After six sessions over three weeks, 95% of treated patients reported significant improvement in their quality of life. Men find they don’t have to stand at the urinal for as long or urinate as frequently, and two-thirds of women reported significant reduction or complete cessation of hygienic pads. One patient found that after only two treatments, she could be on her rebounder without any leakage! Another beneficial side effect that many males and females report is enhanced sexual function. Women report reduced pain during intercourse, increased lubrication, and arousal, and more satisfaction with orgasm intensity.
As one client stated, “water your plants, not your pants.” Consider sitting on the magic chair! Aging is often accompanied by incontinence and limits your freedom. Start now so that your older self will thank you for taking the steps to age gracefully. Consider strengthening your muscles, especially your abdominals, buttocks, and thighs, as well as reducing fat. Always aim for health, no matter your age.
If you are troubled by these problems (no matter your age), visit Sculptedwellness.com to learn more, or call 475.221.1000 to schedule a consultation. Sculpted Wellness offers innovative treatments that enhance physical, aesthetic, and health needs. You are never too old to become younger!
This article was featured in Natural Nutmeg magazine.