How Can You Help Prevent Falls While Your Senior Exercises?
June 2, 2020
Exercise can help your elderly family member to avoid falling, but if she’s just getting started, falls are still a risk. Make sure that you talk with your senior’s doctor about how ready she is to start exercise and then map out a plan that keeps her moving while also reducing the risk of falling.
Safety First, Always
No matter what type of exercise your senior is doing, safety is the biggest priority. If she’s swimming, she might want to use flotation assisting devices. If she’s bicycling, a helmet and joint padding is appropriate. Assess what she wants to do and figure out how to make that activity as safe as possible.
Encourage Her to Go Slowly at First
There’s a lot of mental energy that goes into starting up a new exercise program. Your elderly family member might be all excited and enthusiastic about getting started, but that energy needs to be used carefully. If she tries to go into a new exercise program too fast, she might override some of the safety protocols you’ve put into effect. She can also overdo things quickly, which can lead to injuries.
Taking Breaks While Exercising Isn’t a Bad Thing
Some people believe that exercise means that they have to keep moving, no matter what. But exercise is just about getting the body moving and listening to what it has to say. If your elderly family member starts to feel dizzy, winded, or tired, it’s a good idea for her to not just slow down but stop for a little while. When the feeling subsides, she can determine if the problem is one that means she’s done exercising for now or if she just needs to slow down a bit.
Consider Using a Gait Belt or Other Assistive Devices
A gait belt is a sturdy belt that your senior wears around her waist. You can hold onto the belt to help stabilize her while she is still able to use her hands. These and other assistive tools can help her to exercise while still being as safe as possible. If neither of you are sure how to do this properly, working with home care providers can give you some tips and tricks that keep your senior upright while she strengthens her body.
If your elderly family member is finally ready to get started exercising, she needs to do so as carefully as possible. Her doctor may recommend specific exercises or even physical therapy to get her started safely.
If you or your loved one is looking for Home Care in Los Gatos, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
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