These days, we are all trying to stay safe and healthy at home. For seniors, it’s especially important to promote safety in day-to-day life to maintain independence. One key factor in staying independent at home is improving balance.
Good balance helps to prevent harmful falls that can cause injury, the need to stay in a care facility, or worse. Since one in four people age 65 and older fall every year, it’s important to take steps to improve balance to avoid complications from falling.
Promoting balance in seniors
Do you want to improve your balance? Try these five ways seniors can improve balance at home and promote independence.
Try simple exercises
Exercising will help you stand tall and grow confident in your movements. The strength you build from exercising regularly translates into improved balance.
It’s best to start with simple balance exercises and slowly work on increasing strength. Many exercises can be done at home without equipment or with household items.
Exercises such as standing on one foot, lunges, and squats can all help strengthen your balance. Your individual health condition will determine which exercises are most beneficial. Talk to your doctor about the best exercise plan for you.
Stretching is a proven way to improve balance. Low impact movements can be done in a short amount of time and are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
You can try some simple stretches to start your day. Or, take part in stretching activities such as yoga or Tai chi. Stretching exercises can be done with an online video or in a class. Your insurance may even cover classes that include stretching at a fitness facility or community center.
As with starting any new physical activity, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. A medical professional can help you determine which stretches will best strengthen your balance without causing injury.
Sometimes, we could all use a little help. Incorporating balance-promoting equipment into your life can prevent falls and promote safety.
Railings are great tools to help you keep your balance around your home. Install railing on any stairway, including your entryways into the home. You can also put railings around your bathtub or shower to prevent slipping and falling.
Walkers and canes can also help you stay balanced. If you feel uneasy getting around, consider using equipment to aid your balance. Like exercise classes, your insurance may help pay for balance equipment. You can also check with local agencies that help seniors stay at home.
Check your walkways
If you find yourself tripping often, it’s time to check your walkways. The areas where you move around your home should be free of any hazards that could set you off balance and cause you to fall.
Make sure that your walkways are cleared and all rugs are secured to the floor. Move any electrical cords out of the way or secure them to the floor. Put away loose items such as shoes or boxes. Get rid of items you no longer use that just take up space.
Invite a family member or trusted neighbor to help you move items and clear walkways. Or, contact a professional to help you organize and declutter. Once your walkways are free of obstacles, you can enjoy more balance while moving throughout your home.
Eat healthy foods
Along with exercising, eating healthy foods can help you strengthen your balance by fueling your body. Nutritious foods help to improve your overall health, which gives you more energy to stand tall.
Nutrients in foods help our bodies stay healthy and active. Knowing which nutrients are important will help you decide what kinds of foods to eat.
Your plate should be full of a variety of brightly colored foods. Look for foods that are high in fiber and Vitamin D. Avoid foods with high salt content.
A healthy meal should include:
- Lean proteins such as lean meats, seafood, eggs, and beans
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta
- Low-fat dairy
Want nutritious foods delivered right to your door? Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio delivers healthy, delicious meals to seniors in Stark, Summit, and Wayne Counties. Contact us today to start your meal plan at 330-515-5605 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.