Regular Exercise May Be Key to Preventing Falls in the Home

Falls in the home are one of the leading causes of injury in the elderly population here in Texas. In fact, nationwide falls in the home are the leading contributing factor to accidental death in seniors. Indeed, every 11 seconds and elderly individual is treated for fall-related injuries in an emergency room here in The United States. Every 19 minutes an aging American succumbs to injuries they’ve suffered in such a fall.

¼ of All Seniors Fall Each Year

But how often do aging individuals really fall? It’s estimated that roughly 25% of people 65-years-old or older fall at least once every year. At the age of 85 that rate doubles. It’s no surprise then that one of the most effective ways to keep seniors aging in place in their own homes healthy and injury-free is to decrease their risk of falling. Of course you can do this by eliminating or removing trip and fall hazards in the home (like loose floor mats, exposed electrical cords, and support-free bathrooms) but improving a senior’s ability to balance is a key component of keeping them on their feet.

Exercise Improves Balance

Indeed, researchers at a state university in New England are studying the role of regular exercise and how the muscle-toning benefits of movement can reduce the number of falls in the home suffered by seniors.

Researchers from The University of Maine have been working closely with a select group of seniors living in a local nursing home for nearly a year providing regular exercise classes, movement coaching, and inspiration to keep them active. And while the study is still ongoing, staff at the nursing home have witnessed improvement in the individuals taking part in the exercise program.

But exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to have a marked improvement on a senior’s balance. Even something as simple as walking across the room and back several times a day can improve a person’s ability to stay upright and decrease their risk of falls in the home.

Caregivers In the Home Reduce the Risk of Falling

Another easy solution to preventing falls in the home is to have a caregiver in the home more often than not. If your loved one is proudly aging in place, one key aspect of that process is maintaining their independence. However, studies have repeatedly shown that having a family caregiver in the home can greatly reduce the risk of injurious falls in the elderly population. But you can’t be there for your loved one all the time. With work and family and life commitments all vying for your time, it’s simply impossible.