Exercises for Improving Balance in Seniors

Author: Robert Jo

As seniors grow older, you may notice increasing problems with balance. This increases the risk of falling, which can have terrible consequences. Their bones are more fragile and falling can easily mean a broken hip. The good news? There are many exercises that are simple and easy and can be done right from home with no special equipment! Here are a few exercises that will increase balance and mobility in your senior loved one.

Tightrope Walk

This exercise is a favorite among many seniors and caregivers. It helps get them moving while easily improving balance. It’s best done in a long narrow space such as a hallway. In this way, the senior will the wall to help steady them should they feel like they are going to trip or fall. If there is no hallway to use, simply have another person nearby to spot the senior as they do the exercise
For this exercise, the title says it all. Walking as though the person is on a tightrope, which is heel-to-toe. This is also what police officers use when testing for sobriety. Place the heel of one foot against the toes of the other foot and try to take several steps in that manner. If walking that way is uncomfortable or scary, the senior could just practice standing in that position without walking. Remember that a wall may help steady the movement if needed.

Flamingo Stand

This is one of the simplest exercises to help improve balance. Just like the name suggests, the person just stands on one foot while lifting the other foot off the ground a few inches. The next step is to hold that position for a few seconds and try to increase that time each time the exercise is performed. Again, a wall or chair can be used to help steady the person, and as they grow stronger, they can increase the time standing unaided on one foot.

Leg Raises

This is a simple and easy exercise but has enormous benefits. The person needs only a chair. Simply have them stand behind the chair with their hands gripping the chair, and then raise the legs behind them one at a time about 6 inches off the ground. Repeat this 10-15 times before switching sides. This exercise can also be done lifting the leg to the side rather than behind.

Sit to Stands

Sitting exercises can be a bit more challenging because they are working the core muscles as well as strength in the hamstrings. The idea with this is to have the person seated in a chair with feet flat on the floor at the same width apart as the shoulders. Stand up slowly without moving the torso. Hold the standing position for several seconds and then slowly sit back down in the chair. If balance is particularly difficult, have a chair in front of the senior so they can steady themselves as they stand up. Repeat this motion several times.

For more information on how to improve balance and stamina in seniors, please contact us today!

Home Helpers of San Ramon is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in San Ramon, Danville, Diablo, Moraga, Pleasanton, Castro Valley, Sunol, and Dublin, California.

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