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Robotic Exoskeleton Could Prevent Falls Among the Elderly

With falls listed as the leading cause of fatal injury in the elderly in the U.S., a new invention in the form of a wearable, robotic device that can detect a slip and counteract a fall may be a lifesaving answer to this problem. According to ResearchGate, the device is a brace that wraps around your pelvis and both thighs. Electric motors identify unbalance and counteract it, keeping you standing.

When you're young, you don't give much thought to falling, but as you get older your muscle and bone mass decrease and the senses that guide your balance — vision, touch and proprioception — may start to deteriorate, making you unsteady on your feet. Each year, 2.8 million older adults are treated in U.S. emergency rooms due to falls; more than 800,000 of them are hospitalized as a result. Falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in this population.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are balance and coordination exercises that you can do, along with strength training, that you can do, no matter what your present strength level is. Strength training is an integral part of a well-rounded exercise program.

Resistance training has many benefits, too, and is an essential element if you want to prevent weakening of your bones (osteoporosis), age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), limited range of motion, aches, and pains

Don’t despair if you have limited mobility. Even with severe mobility restrictions, there are training exercises, both seated and standing, that can you on the road to independence.

Also, make sure to optimize your vitamin D levels, which will help reduce your risk of falls and fall-related injuries.
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