As seniors lose their balance, they start to fall more often. Millions of adults aged 65 and older fall annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And though falling doesn’t seem like a big deal, for frail older adults, a fall—which can cause a head or hip injury—can be a life-changing, event.
Being cautious as you walk is good, but preventing dangerous falls takes more than caution, especially for frail individuals undergoing changes related to aging. It takes being physically fit and strong. The better your physical condition, the less likely you are to be injured. Regular exercise, including balance drills, can help seniors gain the muscle strength needed to prevent a fall.
Atlanta-based Regency Home Care can help with implementing an exercise program. Lack of exercise can lead to weak legs, and this increases the chances of falling. Exercise programs such as Tai Chi can increase leg strength and improve balance, making falls much less likely.
If it’s a possibility, try out a few simple Tai Chi moves or take a walk around the block or even around the home. Seniors who walk typically have a lower incidence of obesity, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes, and longer lifespans than people who are sedentary.
And because fall risk and physical fitness go hand in hand, here are a few senior-specific exercise tips:
- Wait at least two hours after eating before vigorous exercise.
- Exercise only when feeling well.
- Drink plenty of fluids both before and after exercising.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily. Supportive footwear designed for exercise is a must.
- Set realistic and safe goals.
- Avoid exercising outdoors in very warm or very cold weather.
- If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop exercising immediately: chest pain or discomfort, dizziness, palpitations, or excessive shortness of breath.
- Exercise with a friend.
At Regency Home Care of North Atlanta, we can help you to create a safer home environment. Our free home safety assessment can alert us to areas throughout your or your loved one’s home that may need attention. During the assessment, one of our trained RNs will walk through the home to assess for simple ways to make living at home safer and more comfortable, whether the concern is to avoid a fall or make living with a particular medical condition a little easier. We’ve been around since 2009, providing dedicated care solutions to Atlanta-bound clients. Contact us for more information.