Do you have an elderly family member living by themselves, perhaps struggling to maintain their home? Home maintenance cannot simply stop because of aging and often home care professionals or family members are not available to take care of the small things. Light bulbs still need to be changed and floors still need to be washed. Despite their mundane nature there is a danger lurking among these tasks: falling.
- Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors age 65 and older.
- Seniors should avoid falls due to increased bone fragility, slowed healing time and often susceptibility to bruising.
- Seniors who fall are 10 times more likely than children to be hospitalized and 8 times more likely to pass away as a result of a fall. -According to J.W. Runge’s The Cost of Injury,
- Seniors can suffer a psychological effect from Falls. Frequently it is a mild effect leading simply to extra caution during every day activities. When the effects are stronger, though, they can be debilitating.
- Fear of future falls can lead to a sedentary life style which only increases seniors’ propensity toward falls.
- Falls can bring on depression and a sense of helplessness from the feeling of dependence that often comes along after a fall.
However, there are options available to decrease the risk of falling among seniors. Falls do not have to be an accepted part of aging. Keeping up bodily strength, agility and balance can significantly aid seniors in staying safe. The following exercises are some of the methods many have used to decrease their risk of falling.
- Low impact free weight exercises and resistance exercises
- Stretches and balance training routines
When done regularly these can provide physical paybacks as well as mental rewards. Many, both young and old, have found that a strong sense of well-being and personal contentment comes from increased physical ability and the feeling of accomplishment that commonly tags along with successfully completing a relatively demanding routine.
Often, partnering with others who find themselves in a similar situation is a valuable tool. Companionship and a shared sense of accomplishment have been proven to increase “feel good” hormones in the body. These hormones can improve the benefits of exercise. The buddy system serves another purpose as well. When exercising alone, even when using a doctor approved routine, there can be accidents, pulled muscles, heart troubles and so on. Exercising with one or more partners ensures that there will always be help readily available in case of trouble. If no one can be found to partner up with there are always trained senior care professionals who can be hired to fill in the gap.
*Disclaimer – As always, seniors should consult their doctor before starting any exercise routine. Even mild exercises that work for one person may not be the right thing for another.
- Staying Strong with Exercise in Old Age (mamoonkay.wordpress.com)
- Senior Exercise and Fitness Tips (poshcaresupport.com)
- 5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults (poshcaresupport.com)
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.