Seniors lose muscle strength as they age, which can make them more susceptible to falling. Additionally, their reflexes slow down, so it makes it harder to regain their balance if they do fall. About 36 million seniors fall each year, resulting in over 32,000 deaths. One in 5 falls causes an injury, such as a head injury or broken bones.
Boom Health has put together a list of fall prevention exercises that seniors can do at home.
1. Balance on one foot with your eyes open. Hold for 10 seconds, working your way up to 30 seconds. Repeat with your eyes closed. Then, switch legs. Do this exercise 5 times.
2. Heel-to-toe walking. Place the heel of one foot in front of the toes of your other foot and walk like that in a straight line. Repeat for 20 steps total. If you can’t do that, try holding onto a counter for support. Work your way up until you can do it with no support.
3. Sit to stand exercise. Begin by sitting on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Lean your chest towards your toes and stand up without using your hands to help. Sit back down and repeat this 10 times.
4. Standing heel raises. Stand behind a chair with both hands on the back of the chair. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your heels off the ground, so all your weight is on the front of your feet. Repeat 10 times.
5. Hip circles. Stand up straight with your feet at hip-width. Place your hands on your hips and make a circle with your hips. Repeat going the other way. Complete 5 repetitions each way.
6. Standing toe touches. Begin with your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your toes pointing forward, bend from the hips and reach your toes. Try to keep your legs straight the entire time. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
7. Standing hamstring curls. Start in the same position as the standing heel raises. For this exercise, lift your lower leg so your heel touches your buttocks. Hold for 3 seconds and lower your foot to the floor. Complete this exercise 5 times. Then, switch legs.
If you or your loved one needs mobility assistance such as transfers and ambulation, the Boom Health app provides Personal Support Workers to help with that. Check out the app on the App Store or Google Play Store to book caregivers.