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Cornelius News

Life: It’s a balancing act

Do you balance your checkbook or use QuickBooks?  Are you emotionally balanced?  How about financially balanced?  Are you mentally balanced or spiritually balanced? Whoever thinks about balance until you find yourself unbalanced?  Are you afraid that you aren’t balanced or that you might fall?

Engaging in each of these areas certainly can help you assess your balance but there are many reasons why you might feel the unbalance in your life.  Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time in one particular area ignoring the others.  Do you read at the expense of going for a walk?  Do you spend more money than your budget allows?  Do you read but perhaps not the kind of books that can lift you up?  Are you in touch with God everyday rather than just once in a while?

There are certainly many methods to use to assess and increase your balance.  I had occasion to assess my physical balance this past weekend when I had two choices—fall into my rose bushes or grab the arm of a friend nearby.  I grabbed the arm and averted a prickly situation but it did make me think.  Perhaps my physical balance isn’t as good as it used to be.

It is said that balance problems are among the most common reasons that older adults seek help from a doctor.  What? Seek help from a doctor?  Not me!  Well, maybe since I have aged (just a bit) it is time to think about seeing my doctor.  And maybe you’re thinking the same way.  It can be hard to admit your balance isn’t what it used to be, but maybe, just maybe, there is a good explanation for it and if you don’t seek advice from your doctor, you’ll never know the reason.

It could be your medication,  an inner ear disruption, your eyesight, your ankle flexibility, it could be just about anything, so let’s look at some reasons you may be losing your balance, and what you can do about it.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I feel unsteady?
  • Do I feel as if the room is spinning around me, even only for brief periods of time?
  • Do I feel as if I’m moving when I know I’m standing or sitting still?
  • Do I lose my balance and fall?
  • Do I feel as if I’m falling?

Did you answer yes to any of these questions?

Then here are some questions to answer before you go to see your doctor in order for your medical professional to help you.

  • How would you describe your dizziness or balance problem?
  • If it feels like the room is spinning around you, which ways does it appear to turn?
  • How often do you have dizziness or balance problems?
  • Have you ever fallen?
  • If so, when did you fall, where did you fall, and how often have you fallen?
  • What medications do you take?

Good balance is important to help you get around, stay independent, and carry out daily activities. It enables you to control and maintain your body’s position, whether you are moving or remaining still. An intact sense of balance helps you:

  • Walk without staggering
  • Get up from a chair without falling
  • Climb stairs without tripping
  • Bend over without falling.

Whatever the reason may be, I encourage you to look into your balance problems right away and a great way to do that is to come to the North Meck Senior Center and enroll in the FREE program called A Matter of Balance. This award winning program of 8 two hour classes can help reduce your fear of falling and increase your activity levels through guided exercises and education about your environment.  You can call the center at 980-314-1127 to enroll.  It will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 – 12:30, March 30 –April 27.  Doctors and other professionals in the area have recommended this evidence based program as one of the many ways to increase your balance and improve your overall life style.

As for balancing your finances, you’re on your own!

Joanne Ahern is the director of North Mecklenburg Senior Center Inc., a United Way Agency. You can reach her at 704-875-1270.