Those of us veterans who are getting on in years and don’t get around so well anymore will be glad to know that the Baltimore VA Medical Center in Maryland recruited a group of seniors to participate in a research program at the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) to study this issue. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently released a statement on the study. It is one of 20 similar centers throughout the VA system, and they operate with support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institute on Aging and other sources.
The press release mentions that if you visit one of these centers, you will “find a group of aging veterans working out on machines and doing a variety of movement drills under the watchful eye of exercise physiologists,” explained VA Research Communications senior writer Mitch Mirkin.
Wrote Mirkin: “It’s not your typical neighborhood gym, or even your standard medically supervised exercise program. There’s rigorous science driving the action. The researchers want to learn the safest and most effective ways to build, restore and preserve mobility — and thus independence — for these men and women who wore the uniform, some from as far back as the Korean or even World War II era.”
The release also stated that they believe everyone should be exercising, and it’s never too late to prevent falls.
“Many of the veterans in the study are coping with multiple health problems: diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries and depression. The researchers use a Multimodal Balance Intervention (MMBI). The emphasis is on improving balance, side-to-side movement and building strength in the legs and core with specially designed exercises. Using a treadmill or a bike is good but doesn’t help with lateral movement. The MMBI program combines lateral movement, strength training and balance exercise to address these issues. Mobility is very important to stay mentally and physically healthy and happy for a full life.”
Remember, the VA is here to help veterans, but you need to register with them to be able to take full advantage of these benefits.
A reminder, the CPN Veterans Organization meets at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there) on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the North Reunion Hall on the Potawatomi Powwow Grounds in Shawnee, Oklahoma. All CPN and their families are welcome. A meal is provided.