Improving a seniors balance is key to avoiding broken hips, hip fractures, and falling which are common among seniors. Over 90% of hip fractures are due to falls and hip fractures can often lead to serious complications.
Improving seniors balance can save lives
Good balance can be a lifesaver — literally! A few minutes a day spent on improving balance can mean the difference between a crippling injury from a fall or remaining safe.
Before exercises, the first step to regaining senior’s balance is to see the doctor for a physical, including a medication review, musculoskeletal check, and blood tests for cholesterol and glucose levels.
8 Exercises for improving seniors balance
Lift the knee as high as the hip using a secure object for support. As strength increases, decrease the tendency to lean on a support and try holding the leg up for 3 seconds or longer.
Point and Flex
While sitting, point toes and then flex them. Repeat.
While sitting, tap toes. Repeat.
When necessary, use a chair for support when standing and again when returning to a sitting position. Try to gradually decrease use of support as legs strengthen.
Calf Muscle Strengthener
Hold onto a wall or chair and repeatedly raise up and down on tiptoes. As strength improves, go higher up on toes and try with one foot at a time.
Shin Muscle Strengthener
Lean against a wall with heels placed 7 – 8” from the wall. Lift the toes of both feet off the ground as high as possible.
Hold onto a secure object, like a sturdy chair. Lift one leg up and try to maintain balance on the standing leg.
Hip/Thigh Muscle Strengthener
Take extra trips up and down stairs. Hold the banister with one hand and press the other hand against the wall for safety. If wary of stairs, strengthen the same muscles by getting out of a chair repeatedly.
Improving seniors balance through home safety
Professional in-home care agencies can help reduce the risk of falls for seniors through:
- Home safety assessments to identify and correct potential hazards
- Recommendations for assistive devices, such as ramps, hand railings, and grab bars
- Assistance with mobility and safe transfers, including support with tasks like bathing and dressing
- Help with strengthening exercises
- Safe, accompanied transportation to medical appointments and other outings
- And more
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