Improving a senior’s balance is one of the best ways to improve overall health, especially when it comes to fall prevention. After an older adult has had a fall, the person’s instinctive reaction is often to decrease physical activity in an effort to reduce the risk of falling again; yet it’s essential for seniors to maximize their overall muscle strength and balance and remain as active as possible.
These balance exercises, suggested by the National Institute on Aging, are a great place for seniors to begin. Always get approval from a physician before beginning a new exercise routine, including physiotherapy.
- One-Leg Stand: Holding onto a chair for balance, raise one leg slightly and hold the position for ten seconds. Repeat ten times, and then switch legs.
- Heel-to-Toe Walk: Place the heel of one foot directly in front of the other, closely enough that they are touching. While focusing on a spot in front of you, raise the back foot up and place in the same position in front of the toes of the other foot. Walk in this manner for 20 steps.
- Balance Walk: Hold arms straight out to the sides and focus on a location in front of you for balance; then take steps forward in a straight line, pausing to lift the back leg and hold for a moment. Walk in this manner for 20 steps.
- Upright Leg Lifts: Stand upright and grasp a chair for balance. Slightly bend one leg and lift the leg behind you. Be sure not to lean backwards or forwards, point the toes, or bend the knee any further. Hold in this position for a moment and repeat ten times before switching to the other leg.
- Side Leg Raises: As with the upright leg lifts above, stand and hold onto a chair, but this time, bend one leg slightly and raise to the side. Hold for a moment, lower the leg, and repeat ten times. Switch to the other leg and repeat.
For more balance exercises, and for hands-on assistance in ensuring your loved one is safe at home, call Advanced Home Health Care at 1-800-791-7795. We can schedule a free in-home safety evaluation, assessing the senior’s home and suggesting simple solutions to enhance safety, decrease fall risk, and make the home as safe and comfortable as possible. We’ll put together a personalized care plan, specific to your loved one’s needs, and provide the highest quality home care or physical therapy and rehabilitation services in Mount Pleasant, IA or the surrounding area, improving quality of life and overall wellbeing. We look forward to serving you!