The CDC shares that as many as one in three seniors fall each year, and surprisingly, less than half of them tell their doctors about those falls. When a senior experiences a fall, even if it does not cause serious injury, he or she can begin to fear falling, leading to reduced involvement in activities, decreased mobility and physical fitness, and eventually, an increased risk of another fall.
In our last blog post, we shared some fall prevention home modifications you can make to boost senior safety. Additionally, there are a number of exercises that seniors can engage in regularly to increase muscle strength and enhance balance, which will not only help to lower the risk of falls, but will also provide the older person with more confidence and improved wellbeing. Check with the senior’s doctor first, and then try these fall prevention exercises, as recommended by our professional home health team:
- Leg Lifts: Lift the knee as high as your hip (if possible), holding onto a sturdy object such as a chair to maintain balance. Hold the leg up for three seconds or more.
- Flex and Point: While seated, point the toes and then flex them. Repeat with both feet.
- Toe Taps: In a sitting position, simply tap the toes, repeating with alternating feet.
- Sit-to-Stand: Holding onto a chair for support, stand and then return to a seated position. Try to gradually decrease reliance on the chair as legs are strengthened.
- Calf Muscle Strengthening: Holding onto a wall, chair or the kitchen counter, repeatedly raise up and down on tiptoes. As strength improves, try to go higher up on the toes and eventually try the movement on one foot at a time.
- Shin Muscle Strengthening: Stand and lean against a wall with heels 7 – 8” away from the wall. Lift the toes of both of feet off the ground as high as possible.
- One-legged Stand: Hold onto a secure object, and then raise one leg off the ground and maintain balance on the standing leg.
Falling can cause devasting injury to an older adult. Contact Harmony Home Health & Hospice, the leading home health aide providers in Salt Lake City and the surrounding locations, for more fall prevention tips to ensure the seniors you love remain safe. Call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) for more information about our home health services for seniors.