Reducing falls in the elderly

Did you know around one in three adults over the age of 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls1? Even though most falls don't result in a serious injury, they present a risk of broken bones but also they can have an effect on an individual's emotional wellbeing due to the loss of independence.

Many people assume that falls are part of old age and don't know that they are preventable just by making a few little changes to minimise the risks. By introducing a few simple exercises for muscle strength and mobility, you can increase your balance and may become steadier on your feet.

Talk to your GP if you have not been exercising for a while or have restricted mobility.

With the help of our specialist physiotherapists we have put together a short guide on some  exercises that you can do by yourself. All you need is a chair or a sturdy surface and pair of steady, flat shoes. Build up slowly and increase gradually the repetitions of each exercise.

Remember, if you experience chest pain, severe shortness of breath or dizziness, stop! Call your GP or an ambulance.

1. Heel raises

Stand upright and tall behind the chair, worktop or kitchen sink and hold onto the back of the chair (or a sturdy surface). Lift your heels off the floor and putting your weight on your big toes. Repeat ten times.

2. Toe raises

Stand upright and tall behind the chair, worktop or kitchen sink and hold onto the back of the chair. Lift your toes off the floor, taking your weight on your heels. Repeat ten times.

3. Heel to toe stand

Stand upright and tall behind the chair, hold on with one hand. Put your right foot directly in front of the other to make a straight line and look ahead. Take your hand off the chair and balance for ten seconds. Move your right foot back to a normal standing position. Repeat for the left foot.

4. One leg stand

Stand upright and tall behind the chair, worktop or a sturdy surface and hold on to it to steady yourself. Lift one foot off the floor and hold for ten seconds. Replace your foot on the floor. Repeat on the other leg.

5. Heel to toe walking

Stand up straight. Place one hand on the kitchen worktop to keep you steady. Look ahead and walk 10 paces forwards placing one foot directly in front of the other, heel to toe, so that the feet form a straight line. Stop. Turn around and repeat.

6. Sit to stand

Sit on your chair. Make sure you are upright and your bottom is towards the front of the chair, hips facing forward. Lean forwards slightly and stand up. Step back a little until your legs touch the chair and sit down slowly. Repeat ten times.

BMI Healthcare offers specialist physiotherapy services that can help improve your quality of life, find out more about our physiotherapy treatments here.

To book a physiotherapy session call us on 0800 404 6660 on enquire online.



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