Daily Balance Exercises for Seniors to Prevent Falls

Getting your older loved one to do a few simple daily exercises, can help to improve their mobility and balance and help prevent falls.

Falls are very common in older people, and are the leading cause of injury-related hospital admissions in people older than 65.

However, there are some easy exercises that can help improve balance, strength and flexibility, and help reduce your loved one’s risk of falling.

Physiotherapist David Hall suggests these five simple exercises that can be done at home, to help keep your loved one fit, healthy and strong.

Exercise 1: Heel-toe rocking

This exercise helps improve your circulation.

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart.

  2. Gently rock backwards and forwards between your heels and toes.

  3. Repeat 10 times each way.

Holding on to a support (e.g. a table or kitchen bench) can help with balance.


Exercise 2: Squats

This exercise helps maintain and build strength in the thigh (quad muscles).

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing outwards.

  2. Keeping your back straight, gently lower yourself a little until your knees cover the view of your toes.

  3. Repeat 10 times in a smooth rhythmic action. 

Placing your hands on your hips might help with balance.

Elderly exercise class

Exercise 3: Standing hip exercise

This exercise can help your loved one stay standing upright and walking

  1. Hold on to a solid support for balance.

  2. Stand on one leg, then lift the other leg outwards to the side – away from the support.

  3. Return leg to your starting position.

  4. Repeat 10 times, then turn around and repeat with the opposite leg.

Exercise 4: Slump stretch

This exercise helps improve the flexibility of your back, hamstring and sciatic nerve.

Sit upright in a solid, supportive chair.

  1. Gently stretch forward.

  2. Bring your chin towards your chest.

  3. Stretch your hands down towards your toes.

  4. Lift your toes up to meet hands, keeping your heels on the floor.

  5. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then gently return to the starting position. 

  6. Repeat twice.

Exercise 5: Rotation stretch

This exercise helps maintains flexibility in the upper back and neck.

Sit upright in a solid, supportive chair.

  1. Cross your arms lightly in front of your body.

  2. Gently rotate your body from the waist, and keeping your back straight, turn your upper back and neck slowly from side to side.

  3. Twist only as far as is comfortable, pause, then repeat in the opposite direction.

  4. Repeat this exercise 10 times in each direction.

Doing some exercise every day is one of the simplest ways for your loved one to reduce their risk of falling. Other steps they can take, or that you can take on their behalf, include making sure their home environment is safe both inside and out, that they wear sensible shoes, have their vision checked and look after their general health, including making sure that they take any medications correctly as prescribed by their doctor.
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