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American Ninja Warrior and Fall Prevention

No one I know can make it through the obstacle course on American Ninja Warrior without falling. It takes a special individual to make it all the way through all of the difficult obstacles without making a mistake. Only the select few folks that have put in enough training and practicing are successful.

While American Ninja Warrior is an extreme television show, it is a good analogy for fall prevention in older adults. Residential homes, and other physical environments, present obstacles to older adults whose physical capabilities have significantly diminished over time. Older adults have to make through these obstacles everyday without falling.

To help make obstacles in the home easier to manage, older adults can put in the training and practicing like the athletes on American Ninja Warrior (MUCH less rigorous of course). For some older adults, the training and practicing will take place during PT or OT treatments. Others might participate in community-based exercise classes or choose to exercise on their own at home. Whatever venue is chosen, older adults can make improvements in strength and balance, which will help them successfully negotiate the obstacles of living at home (stairs, steps, bathtubs, low chairs, etc).

NOTE: One advantage older adults have over the athletes on American Ninja Warrior is that they can make minor home modification or renovations (grab bars, ramps, etc.) to remove obstacles – the athletes on the television show cannot physically change obstacles on the course.