6 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Falling (7th Bonus Tip)

How to Prevent Falls?

Falls are a major concern for older adults. Approximately 1 in 3 elders fall each year. Between 20-30% of fallers experience injuries that reduce their mobility and potentially compromise their independence.

Why do falls occur?

  • Why do falls occur?
  • Loss of balance
  • Lack of body control
  • Lack of strength
  • Lack of mobility
  • Lack of confidence

How to reduce risk of falling in old age

1.Strengthen your lower body

a) Simply practice – getting up from your chair without using your hands. Do this multiple times, make it a habit. For an extra challenge, hover over your chair for 10-20s before sitting, repeat 3-5x. *put weight into the heels of your foot*

b) Go up the stairs, often. If your knees hurt – push through heel of foot

c) Strengthen your calves and ankles. Rise onto tippy toes – up and down, repeat 10-15 times

2. Keep your hips flexible

Childs pose Stretch

 

3. Keep your ankle mobility/flexibility

Ankle and lower leg stretch

 

Release tendons under foot

4. Avoid using things or a cane to help you stand

-Practice sitting and standing when someone is around to help you

-Become confident that you can handle your own body weight

-Become confident – keep yourself active and pain-free

-If you have pain in your knees – you may need to strengthen your hips

 

5. Walk barefoot to gain Kinesthetic awareness

Wearing house shoes, essentially reduces the receptivity of movement under your foot.

In addition, the numerous small muscles in our foot don’t get used due to the security of the shoe/slipper. Walk barefoot as much as possible.

 

6. Wear flexible shoes outside

Every shoe should go through the ‘bend test.’ That means are the shoes flexible  in the areas that our feet curve?

Many times the shoes we wear restrict the mobility in our feet. Wearing a flexible shoe is not only more comfortable, but it helps to keep a proper gait cycle.

7. Exercise: Walking knee hugs (Stretch and Balance Training)

This exercise not only stretches your hips but as you can see, you are standing on 1 leg so helps to train your balance. This is a more challenging exercise, so start with leaning against a wall first. If this is easy for you, step away from the wall and begin to make it more challenging. Eventually leading into hugging in each knee with each step forward. If this is all too difficult, start with practicing the knee hugs while you lie down.