DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado has the second fastest aging population in the nation. Currently, there are more than 1.25 million residents over the age of 60, and projects indicate that by 2030 that number will reach 1.5 million. During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers allocated $15 million dollars to the Area Agency on Aging to continue meeting the needs of older adult.
Earlier this year, the Area Agency on Aging announced it was giving 5,000 older Coloradans access to Nymbl, an app that works to improve balance. They met that goal, and now are opening up free access to another 5,000 residents who are 60-years and older in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Douglas, Gilpin, and Jefferson counties, Denver, Broomfield, and southwest Weld county.
“What we found out was that a lot of people were just sitting at home and they were scared and they didn’t know what to do,” said Dr. Nathan Estrada, Vice President of Clinical for Nymbl Science.
Historically, balance classes would be centralized, forcing participants to gather at a recreation center, therapists office, or gym. The Nymbl app brings balance training right to your phone, convenient to your life.
“I love that I can do it at home,” said Barbara Sanborn, an avid user of the app.
Sanborn demonstrated one of the exercises for us. The app had her walking 8-steps on her toes, while doing simple, multiple choice math questions. Most of the exercises on the app ask you to do balancing exercises while distracting your brain.
“It starts me where I need to be started, so it’s not asking me to do something outside of my comfort zone,” Sanborn explained.
“It really works because balance is a reflex,” Estrada said. “When we age and as we have different things that happen, our eyes don’t get better, our joints don’t get healthier, and as a result of that our balance naturally declines. If you work on that you can actually improve your balance, no matter how bad it is, or how healthy you are, or what your age is. And, when you improve your balance, you decrease your risk of falls.”
Nymbl Science says that consistent use of the app will improve balance. Sanborn is a believer. She’s been using the app since March, and has noticed a difference.
“Hiking, I always struggled going downhill, and so that’s becoming more comfortable,” she told CBS4.
To get the app, go to co.fallsfree.com.
LINK: Aging Colorado