Prevention of falls in the elderly

Growing old is inevitable but losing your balance, strength, and power in the bargain — now that can be avoided. Yes, as we age, our cognitive power takes a backseat making the prevention of falls in the elderly a critical issue. Fall mishaps are not only common but also costly, more so among Americans age 65 and older. After all, as muscle mass declines, our bodies go through changes that make us more prone to trips, falls, and injuries. Did you know that every year, 1 out of 4 older adults will fall in the US? It’s no surprise that falls have become a public health concern, especially among the aging population. If you are wondering how to prevent falls in elderly, you aren’t alone.

But fear not! There are specifically tailored fall prevention – easy exercise for elderly at home and even a fall prevention in the elderly checklist that can help slow down these balance and stability changes and improve health, sharpness, and overall well-being which in turn prevent elderly falls. In this blog, we will focus on a home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls by showing you a few exercises for seniors to do at home to reduce trips and fall mishaps. To make it easier to understand, we have included these exercises for seniors with pictures on how to prevent falls in elderly.

 

1) Single-limb stance

Prevention of falls in the elderly - Single limb Exercise

Exercise for seniors over 75 at home isn’t always easy so let’s first begin slowly. It’s best to start  fall prevention – easy exercise for elderly at home with a simple routine using a sturdy chair without wheels that can help in prevention of falls.

  • Stand behind the chair and grasp the back of it.
  • Start by lifting your right foot and balancing on your left foot.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can, and then switch feet.
  • Over time, make progress by attempting to stand on one foot without holding onto the chair.
  • Once you hit this goal, aim to hold the pose for up to one minute.

To prevent falls in the elderly, it’s important to practice exercise programs designed to improve balance and mobility. If you experience difficulty or find yourself reaching for a chair for support, don’t give up. Keep practicing this basic exercise program for seniors until you are capable of holding this pose on your own, thereby preventing elderly falls.

 

2) Sit-to-Stand Pose

Prevention of falls in the elderly - sit to stand post

The sit-to-stand pose helps strengthen the legs and enhances body mechanics and balance which are crucial in learning how to prevent falls in elderly. Ensure you have a stable chair that is of a standard height and ensure that it doesn’t slide or roll.

  • First off, sit on the chair and place your feet flat on the ground. Keep a sturdy support surface like a countertop in front of you, to hold onto in case you feel unstable when getting up.
  • Sit forward, so that your buttocks are near the edge of the seat.
  • Push your chest forward over your toes, moving your weight forward. Squeeze your gluteal muscles and stand up slowly and steadily.
  • Gradually lower yourself back down to the starting position, and repeat this movement 10 times. 
  • If needed, you can use your hands to push yourself up and down while doing the exercise, using the arms or seat of the chair as support.

The ultimate goal of this basic exercise program for seniors is to eventually be able to perform the exercise without any assistance from your hands at all.

Pro tip: Repeat this exercise 10 times, twice a day. Use hand weights to increase resistance for a more tedious exercise on how to prevent falls in the elderly. But, take note, If you experience pain in your knees, back or hips, please stop doing this exercise and consult your doctor or physical therapist as soon as possible.

 

3) Heel Raises with Dual Feet Exercise

Prevention of falls in the elderly - High Foot pose

Another effective fall prevention – easy exercise for elderly at home involves strengthening the lower legs without too much hustle and bustle. In this scenario, we target the calf muscles — crucial for walking. This exercise for seniors over 75 at home can be done standing near a counter and placing both hands on it for support.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then lift both heels off the ground by raising your toes and the front part of your feet.
  • Perform ten repetitions of this exercise in a row ad you will complete one set.

To ensure that your home environment is safe and to prevent elderly falls, it is recommended to complete three sets of this exercise, three or four times a week, besides using a home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls. By implementing this checklist, you can identify potential hazards and take the necessary steps to make your home safer and reduce the risk of falls.

 

4) The Balance Exercise

Balanced pose

If you have a bit of a rickety balance and want to know how to prevent falls in elderly, this basic exercise program for seniors helps maintain your posture and balance. Make certain you have someone on standby to help you in case you lose your balance.

  • Stance: Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart, keep your eyes open and try to maintain your balance for 10 seconds, gradually building up to 30 seconds.
  • If you struggle with keeping your balance, keep practicing this exercise until you can do it with minimal swaying or need for support. 

When you can hold this position firmly for 30 seconds, move on to the next exercise.

  • Stance: Stand with your feet close together. Keep your eyes open, and maintain your balance for 10 seconds, gradually increasing the duration to 30 seconds. 
  • When you can hold this pose for 30 seconds, stand on one foot, eyes open, and hold steady for 10 seconds, gradually building up to 30 seconds. Alternate between feet.
  • When you can do the first three exercises safely, without too much support, try doing each one with your eyes closed. It’s a nice tactic on how to prevent falling in elderly as you get better control of your balance. Start with 10 seconds, and gradually work up to 30 seconds.

For each exercise, hold the position for 10 seconds, and when you are comfortable doing that, move towards holding the pose for 30 seconds. This exercise routine is specifically designed to prevent elderly falls. Do it for five repetitions, two times a day.

 

5) The marching in your place pose

March Pose

Marching is a wonderful way to help seniors maintain their balance and also makes for fall prevention – easy exercise for elderly at home. If you feel the need for extra support, complete this exercise in front of a counter, or nearby surface.

    • Stand straight and lift your right knee as high as you can.
    • Lower it and then lift the left leg.
    • Repeat this exercise 20 times. 

 

6) Hip circles

Hip Circles

This exercise for seniors over 75 at home can help in Prevention of falls 

  • Grasp onto a secure object such as the sink, chair back, or counter.
  • Keep your shoulders and feet in a fixed place and make 5 wide circular motions with your hips to the left (counter-clockwise). 
  • Afterward, repeat the process for 5 circles to the right (clockwise).

Safety should be a top priority when attempting these exercises for seniors to do at home and above all, always maintain a secure grip and have someone nearby to assist you. You can also use these exercises to understand how to prevent falls in the elderly in nursing homes.

 

Be Cautious: A Crucial Step in Prevention of Falls in the Elderly

As we age, the risk of falls and injuries increases, especially when we exercise and engage in physical activities. So while exercise is vital to maintain the health and well-being of seniors, do not ignore safety either and be sure to follow this fall prevention in the elderly checklist

  • Maintain a secure grip and have someone nearby assist you. 
  • Seniors must listen to their bodies, understand their limitations and avoid exercises that may cause discomfort or pain.
  • Exercises should be tailored to the individual’s ability and fitness level, and one must gradually increase the intensity and duration of the workout.
  • Additionally, seniors must wear appropriate clothing and footwear to ensure stability, balance, and prevent slipping.

While falls can cause serious injuries, the elderly even worry that they can lose their independence. However, performing these exercises for seniors to do at home and making use of Game of Falls, an entertaining and interactive app that informs older adults about external fall risks within the home environment helps you stay away from tripping hazards in the house, shows you how to how to prevent elderly from falling, prevention of falls and can help lower the danger that comes with fall-related mishaps. So the next time you want to know how to prevent falls in older adults, be sure to try out these exercises that are sure to help when you are wondering, “How to prevent falls in elderly!?”

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