Improving balance and strength is one key way to help prevent senior falls.
Balance can be impacted for a variety of reasons as we grow older: medication side effects, low vision, chronic health conditions like Parkinson’s disease, or simply the weakening of muscle strength and mass that is normal in aging. Thankfully, there are some simple steps older adults can take to improve balance, prevent falls, and live healthier and more active lives.
Before starting or changing any type of exercise program, be sure to talk to the doctor for approval and specific recommendations. And it’s always a good idea to exercise with a buddy. Not only does it make exercising safer, but it’s more fun, too!
What Exercises Are Best for Improving Balance?
Join in with an older adult you love and give these exercises a try. You’ll be surprised what a difference they can make when done consistently over time! Best of all, no equipment is needed other than a chair and a wall or sturdy object to hold onto, so they can be performed just about anywhere and at any time.
- Sit/Stand: From a seated position, simply stand up and then sit down again, holding onto another chair for support as needed.
- Leg Lifts: Bend one knee and lift up as high as the hip, if possible, while holding onto a sturdy chair or other object to maintain balance. Hold in this position for 3 seconds and then lower to the floor. Repeat with the other leg.
- Toe Taps: Sit in a chair and alternately tap the toes of one foot and then the other.
- Flex and Point: Now, while still seated, point the toes and then flex them. Repeat with both feet.
- Calf Muscle Stretch: From a standing position, hold onto a chair, counter, or other sturdy object, rise up and down on the tiptoes. Over time, attempt to raise higher up on the toes.
- Shin Muscle Stretch: While standing, lean against a wall for support, placing the heels 7 – 8” away from the wall. Raise the toes of both of feet up off the ground as high as possible.
- One-Leg Stand: Stand up and hold onto a chair or other sturdy object. Lift one leg off the ground while maintaining balance on the standing leg.
How Can Home Care Help Prevent Senior Falls?
A professional in-home care provider, like Home Matters Caregiving, can play a vital role in preventing senior falls. Our caregivers can help by:
- Encouraging older adults to follow an exercise program recommended by the doctor, and exercising along with them for extra motivation and enjoyment
- Providing medication reminders and watching for any adverse reactions or side effects such as loss of balance and reporting them immediately
- Assisting with walking, transfers from bed to chair or wheelchair, etc.
- Performing an in-home assessment for fall risks and providing recommendations to improve safety in the home
- And much more
Contact us today and request your free in-home consultation to learn more about our senior care and how it can benefit someone you love.