Many New Hampshire seniors are at a higher risk for experiencing a fall, and for those who have fallen, the issue is compounded further by the fear of falling again. Although the first instinct may be to minimize physical activity to reduce the chance of falling again, this is, surprisingly, not wise. It’s crucial for seniors to maximize their overall muscle strength and balance, fostering confidence and improved overall health.
Consult with a physician first, and then encourage your senior loved one to try the following exercises recommended by the National Institute on Aging:
- One Foot Stand: Holding onto a sturdy chair for balance, raise one leg slightly and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times and then switch legs.
- Heel to Toe Walk: Place the heel of one foot directly in front of the toes of the other foot, so closely that they’re touching or nearly touching. While focusing on a spot ahead of you, bring the back foot up and place in the same position in front of the toes of the other foot. Repeat for 20 steps.
- Balancing Walk: Holding arms straight out to the sides and focusing on a spot ahead for balance, take steps forward in a straight line, pausing to lift the back leg and hold for a second. Repeat for 20 steps.
- Standing Leg Lifts: Standing and holding onto a sturdy chair for balance, slightly bend one knee and raise the leg behind you. Do not lean forward or back, point your toes, or bend your knee any further. Hold for a second and repeat 10-15 times before switching to the other leg.
- Side Leg Lifts: As with the standing leg lifts above, stand and hold a sturdy chair, but this time, slightly bend one leg and lift to the side. Hold for a second, lower the leg, and repeat 10-15 times and then switch to the other leg.
For more strengthening and balance exercises, visit our fall prevention exercise resource page. And for hands-on assistance in keeping your senior loved one safe at home, call us at 603-217-0149. We’ll start with a free in-home safety assessment, reviewing the senior’s home and recommending simple solutions for enhancing safety, reducing fall risk, and making the home as comfortable as possible. We’ll then create a personalized plan, specific to your loved one’s individual needs and desires, to provide the highest quality New Hampshire home care services to improve his or her quality of life and wellbeing. We look forward to serving you!