Incorporating exercise for older adults can significantly reduce falls. Reducing the chance of falling is essential because falls are a major threat to an older person’s ability to live independently. Falls are the main cause of serious injuries and accidental deaths in older people. They are also the top cause of accidents in people over the age of 65. Preventing falls is one of the most important activities that older adults and their caregivers can focus on.
Many older adults suffer from fear of falling. This usually occurs once someone experiences the consequences of a fall. The fear of falling can become a crippling emotion and keep an older adult from being active. They may be afraid of exercise and begin to practice inactivity to reduce their chances of a fall. Unfortunately, reducing activity and avoiding exercise contribute greatly to an older adults’ chances of falling. Activity and exercise that strengthens muscles and enhances balance is a very important activity for everyone. It is especially important to include the activity of exercise for older adults in their daily lives.
There are many contributing factors to falls, and we discuss several of the causes in our article, Falling is the greatest threat to elderly independence. We also discuss methods to prevent falls through changes to medication and environment. Exercise for older adults is also mentioned in this article, but we wanted to stress the importance of exercise. It is often avoided by all of us as an unpleasant task that we’ll think about tomorrow. Yet exercise for older adults can be just as important as heart and blood pressure medication. Exercise can keep you out of the hospital, out of a nursing home, and allow you the independence of living at home where 90% of older adults want to be.
Exercise also does not require a huge consumption of time. A few minutes of focused exercise daily pays huge dividends in a short period of time. You can start small and build from that start. The truly important thing to do is start an activity and stick with it. You may be limited in what you can do and how you can do it, but most of us are capable of some form of activity for a few minutes a day. We have included a video that may help you begin a routine of exercise for older adults to prevent falls.
This twelve minute video, by two physical therapists who are active on Youtube, present five easy exercises that may help you reduce the risk of falling. Bob and Brad’s videos are really great and focused on techniques and exercises that help you help yourself. This video includes exercises for older adults that are simple and most incorporate the use of a cane, walker or chair.