When it comes to elderly adults and their families, falls are a common concern. In fact, falling has become a leading cause of injury-related death in older people - those 65 and above. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that as many as 3 million US adults end up in a hospital’s emergency room due to falls every year. This startling statistic shows how common falling has become for the elderly.
Common causes of a fall
In most cases, poor balance is the common reason that makes older people fall. This stems from the difficulty in walking, weakness in the lower body, ill-fitted footwear, medication-induced dizziness, or vision problems.
There are also many hazards inside homes that make older adults fall. While falls are inevitable, there are many exercises that the elderly can do to improve balance and reduce the risk of falling.
This exercise can build leg strength, improve body mechanics and balance. All of this will help prevent a fall.
Grab a sturdy chair of standard height and sit on it. Your feet should be flat on the ground, and you should feel comfortable. Have sturdy support in front of you, such as a countertop. This will serve as your support that you can hold on to if you feel unsteady when standing. Now, use both legs and arms strength to stand up. Repeat this ten times.
You can increase the intensity crossing your arms in front of your chest and stand so as not to use them at all when standing.
Marching in place
For this exercise, hold on to a chair back or countertop and stand with good posture. Start marching in place and bring your knees towards your chest. Make sure to do this slowly and deliberately using your muscles. Ten knee raises for each leg, and 20 marching steps are ideal.
Side leg raise
While holding on to a steady countertop, stand with good posture. Now, raise a leg out to one side. Your knees should be pointed straight ahead towards the countertop. Again, do this slowly and avoid leaning or dipping the upper body towards the opposite side while raising your leg. 10 repetitions on each side are enough.
Toe to heel
As you hold on to a countertop, stand in a comfortable position and rise up on toes with your heels in the air. Then, come back to the original position. This will be counted as one repetition. Do this ten times.
Place two chairs of equal height on either side of your body. With your feet about shoulder-width apart, turn your entire upper body along with your head to one side and touch the chair. Then, turn the other side and touch the chair on the opposite side.
Fall detection made easy
A complete fall-free life is likely the goal for most people but a fall can happen at any time. Since LifeFone’s medical alert systems come with optional fall detection, contact us if you want to discuss getting a system for you or a loved one.