How to Improve Balance in Seniors
Life is all about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people mistreat you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself.
There are many types of balance besides mental and spiritual balance; physical balance exists as well. Good physical balance can help older people avoid the debilitating and potentially life-threatening complications of a fall. According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for aged adults.Each year, millions of older people (older than 64) fall. More than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. In 2010, falls cost approximately $30 billion in cost. This is why today, we will give some tips on how to improve balance in seniors.
Possible Injuries After a Fall
- Head injuries can be caused by a fall; this can be extremely dangerous if the person is taking blood thinners
- The bones located in the arms, wrists, hips, and ankles can be damaged or even brokenn
- People who fall once may suffer from a form of post-traumatic disorder. They may develop of fear of falling again, and this fear causes this person to cut on their daily routines/activities. This also raises another problem: the inability to live on their own.
Conditions Increasing Chances to Fall
- Difficulties with vision
- Difficulties with walking, balance, or even standing
- Foot/leg ache and low quality footwear
- Lack of Vitamin D in one’s body
- Environmental Hazards: poor lighting, broken or uneven steps, loose carpets/rugs, slick floors, lack of safety equipment, clutter.
- Chronic Diseases: Parkinson’s disease and arthritis are diseases that make it arduous for a person to move around.
- Utilizing Medicine: Sedatives, antidepressants, and tranquilizers are known to augment the chances of someone to fall. Medications that have side effects that cause dizziness or drowsiness can contribute to a fall to happen.
Usually, a fall happens when more than one of these risk factors combine.
What One Can do to Stop Falls/ Improve Balance
- Do leg/feet exercises to strengthen muscles in the leg/feet.
- Get eyes examined by a doctor, check their conditions
- Update eyeglasses if needed
- Ask your doctor or healthcare provider to evaluate risk of falling
- Ask your doctor or healthcare provider to see if any medicine (even over-the-counter) causes dizziness or drowsiness.
- Inquire about taking Vitamin D supplements
- Get quality footwear (supportive, low heeled shoes with non-slip soles would be great),don’t wear flip flops
- Make your home safer: take out any items you might trip over (such as loose clutter, or cords), keep floor surfaces clean and dry but not slippery, put hand railings on both sides of stairs, put grab bars in bathroom (near showers, toilets, and tubs). If you get exhausted easily on your feet, consider using a shower chair or a transfer bench.
“It is not the weight of the things that matters. It’s all about our balance within.” All in all, we must strive to combat the perils and dangers of falling!