As people age, they lose muscle strength, which can make them more likely to fall. Slower reflexes make it harder for seniors to regain balance if they start to fall. However, falls don’t have to be inevitable as you age. You can reduce your chance of falling or help a loved one prevent falls.
Do shoulder rolls.
Gently rotate your shoulders up to the ceiling, backward, and down. Then try this movement in reverse. Gently rotate your shoulders up to the ceiling, forward, and down.
Do calf stretches while standing.
Stretch one leg behind you, with your foot flat on the floor and your toes facing forward. Gently bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times with each leg.
March in Place.
Stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. If you begin to fall, you may use them for support. Standing in a corner will also work. Stand with your feet slightly apart (as you normally stand) and your arms at your side. March in place, lifting your knees high toward the ceiling.
Hold onto the back of your chair. Stand with your knees relaxed and your back straight. Your knees should face the same direction as your toes. Slowly bend your knees, then raise your body by straightening your knees.
Rise up onto your toes. Hold for a few seconds. Slowly lower your heels to the floor.
- Continue learning about strength and balance exercises, and take the time to do them each day. This can help you stay active and independent.
- Preventing Falls: Four Fall Stoppers (Video) from Healthwise
- Checklist to remove identify and remove hazards at home that increase the risk of falls by Washington’s Department of Health