Falls are probably one of the major causes of injuries for older adults. They can lead to very serious consequences as people age. In some cases, falls could even be fatal, especially to the elderly. According to the CDC, one in four adults falls each year, often resulting in serious injuries that cause the loss of independence and mobility. While our bodies naturally become weaker as we grow old, that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to prevent ourselves from falling. There are actually ways you can improve your balance and prevent falls even at a very old age. This guide should help you understand the different ways you can prevent falls from happening.
Improving Your Balance
Regular exercise is one of the best ways of reducing the risk of sustaining injuries. It helps strengthen your muscles, retain flexibility of your joints, and slows down its natural deterioration. If you want to prevent falls, focusing your exercise on improving your balance is a great starting point. Here are some exercises you can do to improve your balance.
- Balance on one foot by raising the other off of the floor. You do this while holding on to a grab bar, a chair, or even your kitchen counter.
- Sit down and stand up without using your hands. This simple exercise forces you to shift your body weight and learn to pull yourself back up without help from your hands.
- Strengthening your lower back and your buttocks is also essential. Start by holding onto a support with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, slightly bend your knees and lift one leg straight behind you. Then bend your knee and bring your heel toward your buttocks and hold it for a few seconds until you feel a stretch. Finally, slowly lower that leg back to a standing position and repeat with your other leg.
Those are just three good examples of improving your balance. There are obviously other ways to improve your balance but doing these three exercises a couple of times per week can do a lot for you.
Creating a Safe Living Space to Prevent Falls
Now that you have a way to improve your balance, it’s also good to make some adjustments in your house to prevent falls from happening or at least prevent you from getting injured. One of the biggest reasons for falling while in one’s own house is because of a false sense of security. You feel so safe within the four walls of your home that you don’t expect to get injured while inside it. Of course, accidents could still happen, which is why you should make the following arrangements to make your living space safe.
- Clear out the clutter – A lot of unnecessary clutter could be the cause of your fall like long electrical cords, pieces of paper lying around or some loose equipment.
- Increase lighting – Sometimes falls happen because of visibility issues. You want to make sure every corner of your home is well lit so you see everything that could possibly trip you.
- Install grab bars and handrails – One great way of preventing falls is to make sure you can grab onto something for support at all times. Install a couple of handrails by the toilet or bathtub, in your room, around the hallway, and even the kitchen.
- Take your time and move slowly – Don’t rush into things. Most of the time, it’s because you’re trying to rush into things that you fall and trip. Try to always move at a regular pace and don’t let other people hurry you into doing something.
The danger of falling is always there, with gravity surrounding us all the time. The only way to prevent it from happening is by making adjustments to your surroundings and yourself. Practice some balance training and make sure you live in a place where there’s little to no risk of falling or tripping.
Through Gateway Home Health & Hospice, you can work with a team of highly trained and compassionate health care professionals to give you the care you deserve. We provide home health and specialty programs to serve our community. If you need home care services in the greater Denver and Phoenix area, feel free to reach out to us.