The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shares that as many as one-third of seniors experience a fall each year, and surprisingly, only half of them bring those falls to the attention of a doctor. When an older adult falls, even if it does not cause a serious injury, it can lead to an elevated fear of falling again. This can cause the person to begin to limit activities and exercise, which leads to reduced mobility and eventually, a greater risk of another fall.
In our previous blog post, we provided some home alterations you can make to enhance safety in a senior’s home to help prevent a fall. In addition, there are several fall prevention exercises older adults can do routinely to develop muscle strength and improve balance. This will help reduce the risk of falling, while giving the senior more confidence and improving overall wellness. After first consulting with the senior’s doctor, give these fall prevention exercises a try:
- Leg Lifts: Raise the knee as high as your hip (or as high as possible), holding onto a sturdy object such as a chair to maintain balance. Hold the leg up for a minimum of three seconds.
- Flex and Point: While sitting down, point the toes and then flex them. Repeat with both feet.
- Toe Taps: From a seated position, simply tap the toes, repeating with alternating feet.
- Sit-to-Stand: Use a sturdy chair for support, stand up, and then return to a seated position. Attempt to slowly decrease reliance on the chair as the legs become stronger.
- Calf Muscle Strengthening: While holding onto a wall, chair, or countertop for support, repeatedly lift up and down on tiptoes. As strength improves, try to go higher up on the toes and eventually attempt the movement using just one foot at a time.
- Shin Muscle Strengthening: Stand up and lean against a wall, with the heels 7 – 8” away from the wall. Raise the toes of both feet off the ground as high as possible.
- One-Legged Stand: Holding onto a sturdy object, lift one leg off the ground while maintaining balance on the standing leg.
A fall in the home can be catastrophic for an older person. Reach out to San Diego Home Caregivers, the La Jolla senior in home care experts, to find out more about how to help a senior you love decrease fall risk and enhance safety.
Call us at (619) 487-9000, or fill out our simple online contact form, to get started and to learn more about how our La Jolla senior in-home care services can improve life for a senior you love. Visit our website to see all of the communities where we offer in-home caregiving services.