According to the CDC, millions of people over 65 have horrible falls that result in hospital visits every year. One out of four aging adults falls each year. These statistics are staggering. When an older adult falls, it is nowhere close to the same as someone younger falling because our bones become more brittle as we age. If an aging adult falls, they are more likely to break a bone or worse. Not to mention if someone older falls once, the likelihood of them falling again increases.
Falls can happen at any moment. Even simple movements like reaching into an overhead cabinet can trigger a fall. Luckily, there are simple exercises that help with balance and strength which ultimately help reduce falls by making you steadier on your feet. These exercises can be done in the comfort of your home.
We found these exercises on YouTube from a channel titled Bob and Brad. Bob and Brand, both former physical therapists, have many videos on YouTube where they work together, using their physical therapy training, to create videos of exercises specifically geared for aging adults.
Grab a tissue box and remote control for this exercise. Then stand between two high tables or countertops. Put the remote on one table and the tissue box on the other. Use one arm to pick up the larger object and move it across your body to the other table. Then pick it up again and move it back to its original location. Do the same with the remote control using the other arm. As for how many repetitions the aging adult should do, Bob and Brad recommend doing it until tired. However, if you find the exercise easy, you can increase the distance from the countertop or table or increase repetitions.
You can use the same tissue box and remote control for this exercise. This time place the objects on the countertop/table. Your loved one should be standing far enough away, so they must lean forward and reach for the items. Have them lean forward to pick up the larger item with one arm and bring it to them while standing up straight again. Next, lean forward and put it back on the table/countertop. If that is too easy, move to the smaller object and have them put it down further away from where they are standing.
Preventing Falls While Exercising
The last thing you want is for your loved one to fall while exercising. Make sure to be nearby while they exercise so you can provide instant stability if they get off balance. It is also a good idea to have them wear a gait belt for extra safety.