Ballet Keeps Seniors on Their Feet

Even without the added risk for falls that snow and ice carry, 1 in 3 seniors over the age of 65 will experience a fall each year and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 will result in a serious injury like head trauma or fracture.   To help older adults learn how to hold their bodies, use their muscles and plant their feet in order to prevent falls, the Sacramento Ballet has formed a partnership with a local medical center. 

According to a recent Fox 40 News report, the weekly class, held in an overflowing ballet studio, uses the fundamentals of balance, posture and strength inspired by the ballet to teach seniors, mostly women, more physical awareness.  Moving to music, older adults learn to face their fear of falling and become more aware of how posture, sightline and muscle control can help prevent imbalances that can lead to falls. 

With greater confidence learned through the movements ballet uses, seniors improve their muscle strength, posture and balance.   The weekly class is held free of charge and encourages older adults to move more, stay socially connected and enjoy music inspired by the ballet.  

Each year, 3 million American seniors are hospitalized due to an injury resulting from a fall and more than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually sideways.  According to the CDC, falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injury and can often lead to a loss of independence.  And after an older adult experiences a fall, they can become afraid of falling which can lead to a decline in mobility, strength and balance. 

In addition to participating in regular strength and balance activities, like dance or Tai Chi, older adults can lower their risk for falls by reviewing medications with their doctor, having an annual eye exam and removing trip hazards around the home.  Learn more about fall prevention here