Falls Prevention - Keeping Active
Betsi Cadwaladr, our local health board is promoting Falls Prevention Week this week so we thought we’d offer a few of our own helpful tips during this week.
A fall can be a huge setback to an older person – it can cause serious injury or worse and falls are one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions in the elderly.
A fall is often seen as the first step in a path of decline for an older person but it does not have to be this way. With proper guidance and support at home, older people can retain their independence and stay ‘fall-free’.
Each day on our website we’ll offer some top tips on how you can prevent falls in the home.
Today we are going to talk about how staying active can help.
As we get older our muscle strength starts to decline and our balance can become worse. Becoming frailer and less independent isn’t an inevitable part of ageing – carrying out regular activity to improve strength and balance can help maintain or even improve ability to do our daily activities and can help to reduce the chance of falling.
You may decide to participate in an organised class – there are many that are designed specifically for older adults. It’s important however, to make sure that any activity you do is suitable to your ability. Classes such as Tai Chi or dancing can be fantastic for building strength and balance but you should ensure that you are confident and stable on your feet before taking part for the first time. If you aren’t sure, speak to your GP who may be able to suggest some suitable activities or know of local classes that would work for you.
Activity at Home
You don’t have to participate in a structured exercise class to improve your fitness levels – here are some examples of activities that you can do at home to improve your strength and balance at home.
- Using the stairs frequently
- Carrying heavy loads, such as groceries
- Heavy gardening, such as digging or shovelling
- Standing on one leg (hold onto a chair or something solid for support if needed)
- Practice standing on your tip toes
People over the age of 60 can spend up to 80% of the waking day sitting down. Try to reduce the time you spend watching TV or just sitting by taking regular walks – not only can walking help keep you active, but the fresh air is also beneficial for your overall health and mental wellbeing.
Come back tomorrow for some helpful tips on keeping your home safe.