Loss of balance and falls can have serious consequences. For persons over the age of 65, the risk of falling is greatly associated with a combination of factors such as:
- Balance and walking problems
- Home hazards like trips and dim lighting
- Positional low blood pressure (an instant drop in blood pressure when someone stands abruptly)
- Footwear and feet issues
Their fall is also common in the bathrooms, washrooms, bedrooms, and staircases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lack of balance and consequential fall is the primary cause of injuries to seniors.
The emergency departments treat nearly 3 million seniors who sustain injuries yearly and a significant number battle hip fractures. Fortunately, these falls can be prevented and should not be an inevitable part of aging.
Exercise is the key to fall prevention and general healthy aging. It strengthens muscles, improves balance, prolongs active participation in various activities, and makes seniors more flexible. The exercise can also help them drop a few extra pounds.
3 Low-Impact Exercises That Help Seniors With Balance and Fall Prevention
Low-impact exercises are specifically meant to improve strength and balance. They facilitate the gentle movement of body fluids on the joints. They include:
- Sit-to-stand exercise
The sit-to-stand exercise improves seniors' body mechanics and builds leg strength and balance, which all play central roles in preventing falls.
Step 1: The senior should start by sitting on a chair of standard height that allows them to sit comfortably with their feet lying flat on the ground. Ensure the seat is free from rolling or sliding and has sturdy support like a countertop that they can easily reach if they feel unsteady when standing.
Step 2: Ensure they scoot forward in a way that the buttocks rest at the front of the seat. They should then lean the chest forward, squeeze the gluteal muscles, and rise slowly to stable standing positions.
Step 3: Slowly sit down to the original position and repeat the process about ten times. If the muscles can't push their body weight several times, they can use the arms to go through, but the goal is to keep off from hand support as much as possible.
- Perform a single-leg stance
Ensure the senior stands between two static sturdy chairs of uniform height or a counter. Hold the support surface, bend the knee and raise one foot for about 10-15 seconds before moving to the other. They should start the exercise by holding the support with both hands. As they progress, they can try the challenge using one hand on support and then no hands.
- Perform a toe to heel exercise
Instruct your elderly loved one to hold a countertop or sturdy chairs of the same height for support. Once in the correct posture, ensure they rise on their toes while keeping heels in the air for about 10 seconds. Then retreat to the original stance and rock back on heels with toes in the air. Encourage them to repeat the exercise about 10 times (heels up + toes up = 1 repetition).
How Can Senior Helpers Peachtree City Help?
Do you know of a person over 65 struggling with balance and falls? Don't fret! At Senior Helpers Peachtree City, we are the premier provider of personalized and in-home senior care across Peachtree City, Newman, Fayetteville, Atlanta, and their periphery. We provide a specialized and comprehensive suite of programs and services to those with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Dementia, and other chronic diseases. Get in touch with us to help us help your lovely seniors.