Your senior’s balance is part of what helps her to avoid a fall. If your elderly family member’s balance hasn’t been where you or she want it to be lately, these ideas might help.
Rushing Can Be a Big Problem
It’s never a good idea for your elderly family member to hurry, but it can be an especially big problem if she’s also got balance problems. Encourage your elderly family member to take her time. This allows her to make sure that she’s stable before she starts moving forward or changing how her body is positioned. Moving too quickly can send her off balance more quickly than she might expect.
Slightly Longer Strides Might Help
Lots of older people take short, shuffling steps. That’s a natural reaction to wanting to stay upright, but it can also create difficulty for her as she’s moving. Slightly longer steps can allow her body to adjust to shifting weight. It’s important to note, though, that if this is scary for your elderly family member, it’s better to just let her take the size of steps that feel safe for her.
Assistive Devices Are Incredibly Important
Assistive devices, like a walker or a cane, might be the last thing your elderly family member wants to use. But these devices are super important because they can help her to maintain her balance and to move safely as she walks. These devices can take some time to become acclimated to. Talk to your senior’s doctor about how they should be used to assist your senior and what you can do to make that easier for her.
Exercise or Physical Therapy Can Help
Exercising more often, or at least starting out with physical therapy, can be hugely helpful for your senior as she looks for ways to keep her balance. Make sure that her doctor clears her for exercising before she gets started and then put a plan together that allows your elderly family member to start out slowly and work her way up to more demanding exercises. Even chair exercise can be really helpful for your elderly family member.
Conserving her energy can also help your elderly family member to try some of these ideas. Having senior care providers available to handle household tasks can accomplish that and also ensures that someone is there with your senior if she has mobility issues or is afraid she’ll fall.