Fall prevention: it is one of the top focuses of healthy aging, considering the fact that falls are one of the top sources for serious injuries and even death in older adults. At Hearts at Home, providers of the in home care Overland Park seniors need, we work hard to ensure the home environment is assessed for fall threats and that modifications are made to help the older individuals in our care continue to be safe from senior falls.
Yet there are some further steps all seniors ought to take to minimize their risk of senior falls – for example, stepping up their physical activity regimen to include some essential strengthening and balance exercises that have been shown in recent research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine to decrease falls by roughly 21 – 39%, based upon how much time is invested. As few as three hours every week spent in the activities below can make a big difference in the health and wellbeing of your elderly loved ones:
- Chair Lift: While sitting in a secure chair with arms, hold onto the arms and raise the body up, making use of the lower body muscles as little as possible and utilizing upper arm strength. Stay in the position, and then gradually lower back to a sitting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Forward Lunge: Stand straight with feet directly below hips. Hold onto a sturdy chair placed to one side of the body, and then step forward with one foot, attempting to keep the rest of the body straight and tall. Bend the leg in front until the knee in the back is as near to the ground as possible. Then utilize the front leg to move the body back up to a standing position. Repeat ten times with alternate legs.
- Leg Raise: While sitting, extend one leg straight out in front of you, and then bend the knee and raise it to your chest, without shifting the upper body. Stretch the leg back out straight once again, and then bring the foot back to the ground. Repeat 10 times with each leg, and if possible, try with both legs together.
- Weight Lift and Bend: With a stable chair alongside you for balance, and a two-pound weight in the opposite hand, bend forward at the waist, bend the arm holding the weight up to your chest (with the elbow remaining at waist level) and then extend the arm behind you before returning the weight back to your waist. Repeat 10 times with alternate arms, increasing weight if desired.
- Toe Touch: Standing upright with feet placed together, slowly and carefully roll your upper body down to your toes, reaching downward with the fingertips, as far as possible. Hold legs straight during the bend. Slowly and gently roll the upper body back up to an upright position, and repeat ten times.
For further fall prevention advice and exercise ideas, or to set up an in-home evaluation of your senior loved one’s home to lower the risk of senior falls, contact Hearts at Home, the top providers of in home care Overland Park families trust, by calling us any time at 913-440-4209.