Falls carry an immense risk for older people because their bodies are not as strong as they once were. Any sustained injuries from a fall could take weeks or months to heal. Here are a few simple fall prevention exercises seniors can do at home.
Exercise is ideally a consistent part of our lives for good health and vitality. As we get older, we are faced with challenges like reduced muscle mass, eyesight, and strength when doing previously effortless exercises. These challenges can result in significant falls if the exercises are not adjusted to keep you upright. Falls carry an immense risk for older people because their bodies are not as strong as they once were.
Any sustained injuries from a fall could take weeks or months to heal entirely and necessitates care in a nursing home and loss of independent living or assisted living privileges. For these reasons, we put together a few simple fall prevention exercises seniors can do at home.
1. Implement a Sitting or Standing Exercise Variation
When your loved one is exercising, provide them with a steady chair. Make sure the chair is not too low or too high, so your feet always rest flat on the ground. Do this while close to a sturdy support structure, such as a countertop or railing.
Once this equipment is set up, you should ensure your loved one employs the correct form when lifting their body from the chair. You want them to shift their body weight forward and use their glutes to push their frame off the ground. Once in a standing position, you can adopt a similar form to sit back down. Stay close in case they need a hand.
2. Feet Apart and Together to Prevent Falls
This is the safest fall-free exercise, as it helps you keep steady when walking. To start, you must have your feet wide apart and hold the position for about 15 seconds. Keep your eyes open during this exercise, so you do not feel dizzy. Repeat the same with your legs closed and eyes open. Do not jump when switching positions.
3. The Single-Leg Stance
With your hands resting on the back of a chair, keep one foot flat, lift the other off the ground, and hold. Keep this position for 15 seconds, then alternate.
4. Heel-to-Toe Walk
Place one foot in front of the other and keep the soles flat on the ground. Make sure to keep the toes close to the heel. Now step forward by lifting the front leg heel and return it to place. Repeat this twenty times for each leg. Keep your hands on a steady surface, like a countertop or railing.
5. Heel Rise
This exercise is excellent for strengthening your thigh and calf muscles. Start by standing with your feet flat on the ground. Put one foot in front of the other, making sure to keep one heel directly in front of the toes of the other foot. Now use the balls of your feet to lift your heels and return them as they were.
Risk Assessment for Falling During Exercises
If you are elderly and taking strong medication for any reason, you should avoid exercising, as it could cause you to feel dizzy and disoriented. Before engaging in any strenuous activity, ask yourself how you feel. Your body knows best and will give you warning signs beforehand, so pay attention. If you worry about falling and feel unsteady on your feet, do not push your luck, as it could buy you a trip to the ER.