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Improving Balance in the Elderly Can Prevent Falls

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

If you are among the elderly, you are at an increased risk of falling. Improving your balance and becoming more aware of your body and how it is moving through exercise can help you prevent falls. If your podiatrist approves, you can try simple balance exercises at home such as the single leg stance with variations. These exercises all have a resting position where you stand with your legs slightly apart while supporting yourself behind a chair or table. First, lift one leg up to the side about 6 inches and hold for 10 seconds. Do 5-10 reps on each leg. Now, go back to the resting position, but this time bend your right knee and lift your leg about 6 inches off of the floor and hold for 10 seconds before switching to the other leg. Once again, return to the resting position keeping your knee straight. Lift one leg behind you and hold for 10 seconds, and repeat on the other leg. These single-leg stance exercises can be done up to three times daily and once you feel ready with your podiatrist's approval, you can try them with your eyes closed to improve your balance even more. Consult with your podiatrist for more balance exercises and to receive a fall risk assessment. 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Marylou Paulo-Francisco from Delray Beach. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Delray Beach and Hallandale Beach, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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