April is a crucial month for fall prevention awareness, and North West Physio believe it is important to discuss strategies and educate to prevent falls.
As we age, our bodies become more fragile and susceptible to falls and spreading awareness is key to preventing injuries among the aging population.
Exercise can be an effective way to prevent falls among seniors, so it’s important to know the right exercises and safety measures when it comes to older family members.
Let’s look at what exercises are best for senior family members so they can live their best life with minimal injuries.
Physio for elderly: why is it so important?
As we continue to live longer and longer, it has become more and more
imperative that we do so gracefully and live life to the fullest.
Exercise is not only important for staying fit and healthy but it is an incredibly effective tool for reducing fall risks and providing injury prevention in our elderly population.
Balance for seniors exercises
The following types of exercises are great for staying robust and healthy, in individual or group settings:
- Gym based exercises: Strength and balance classes or GLAD programs
- Hydrotherapy/ Aqua aerobics
- Pilates: Reformer and matwork
- Mobility classes/ Yoga
- Tai Chi
Risks of immobility
As family members age, it is important to stay mindful of the risks associated with a lack of exercise.
For older family members, immobility has the potential to cause serious medical issues if left unchecked such as:
- Increased falls risk
- Increased likelihood for walking aids/ assistive devices
- Muscle atrophy/ generalised weakness
- Osteopenia/ Osteoporosis
- Longer rehabilitation times following injuries
- Reduced life expectancy (exercise for 150 mins or more per week can increase life expectancy by 7 years)
Elderly injury prevention: 3 ways to avoid injury
At North West Physio, we advise the following simple steps to help our seniors avoid injury:
- Get help. Seek advice from a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist as to what type of exercise would suit you based on your current fitness level/ medical history
- Keep the intensity low and focus on consistency. Avoid being the person that goes too hard too fast. Holding a conversation during exercise is a good way to judge the intensity.
- Warm up to prepare your body for the session ahead
Physio for elderly
When undergoing exercise, North West Physio advises seniors to seek advice from a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist as to what type of exercise would
suit best based on current fitness level/ medical history.
Strategies to prevent falls for senior family members
Exercising regularly is essential for seniors. It not only provides physical well-being and improved mobility, but it can also help reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses related to inactivity.
The best exercises for senior family members will depend on their individual health needs, so it is important to speak with a professional Physiotherapist to get advice on what exercise will suit them best.
If you would like more information or strategies to prevent falls and injury, call North West Physio today.