How Can Exercise Help Aging Adults Prevent Falls?

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Numerous clinical studies show regular exercise not only helps seniors boost their current physical and emotional health but also significantly reduces their risk of developing dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. However, many seniors don’t realize how critical physical activity is to reducing their risk of falls, which pose a significant threat to their health and independence. Fortunately, there have never been more opportunities to reduce falling risks than there are today. 

A Clear Need for Fall Prevention

It’s important that all seniors, as well as their families and caregivers, understand the risk falls pose. Falls are the leading cause of injuries and disability among older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 3 adults over the age of 65 falls each year, resulting in injuries that range from minor bumps and bruises to hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and even death. Even seniors who don’t experience major injuries can develop a fear of falling that causes them to limit their physical activities, but curtailing exercise results in reduced mobility that only increases their risk of falling.  If your loved one needs help maintaining a regular exercise routine or assistance with mobility, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Des Moines, IA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Building Strength & Balance

Exercises that enhance an older adult’s strength and balance are essential for reducing the chances of falling. Although aerobic exercises are necessary for cardiovascular health, recent research indicates exercises like walking aren’t as effective for fall prevention.  What activities can seniors enjoy to reduce their risk of falls? Tai chi and yoga classes are popular options for increasing strength and balance, and they’re growing in popularity among older adults. They can be modified to suit any level of ability or skill, and an additional benefit of these programs is that they offer cognitive stimulation, promoting a healthy mind, body, and spirit.  Seniors can also check out their local community centers. Many offer fitness programs designed specifically for seniors, and these instructional classes are a great way to interact and spend time with their peers.  Elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Tips for Children of Aging Parents

Are you concerned about an aging loved one who lives at home independently? Perhaps your loved one has recently experienced a fall in the house or while under your care. Adult children can encourage their aging parents to look for opportunities to test their balance throughout the day. For seniors with physical limitations, even simple moves such as attempting to stand on one leg while holding on to a sturdy chair can increase balance.  Exercises that increase leg strength, such as leg lifts, can be particularly helpful in counteracting the fear of falling. As your parent’s strength and balance increases, he or she may enjoy an enhanced sense of confidence as well as better physical health.  If your loved one needs help performing exercises and accomplishing daily tasks, consider hiring a dedicated caregiver. Des Moines homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.


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