Your parent may have noticed that he’s having a harder time maintaining balance lately. Age often causes changes in the balance receptors of the ears, not to mention, age can bring arthritis and other mobility issues into your parent’s day-to-day life, making maintaining his balance a struggle for him and a worry for you.
There are steps your parent can take to help him maintain his balance and equilibrium ability the best it can be. It may not go back to what it used to be, so included in these tips are also items you can discuss to help him get around without worry of losing his balance and taking a nasty fall.
It can be tempting for your elderly parent to not want to move at all and risk falling. Unfortunately, the more he stays put, the harder it is for him to build up the strength and dexterity needed to maintain balance while moving about. Encourage your parent to think about performing little exercises at home to keep his strength up, like leg lifts or squats while holding onto a steady chair. Check with your parent’s physician about exercises that are safe for him. Your elderly care provider can oversee these workout times if your parent wants assurance that he won’t have to be concerned about falling and not being able to get up.
Take a walk everyday
If weather is permitting and your parent can safely take a walk, have him go for a walk each day, increasing his time and distance each week. If he’s nervous about walking alone, schedule a time for your elderly care worker to go walking with him or invite a caring neighbor to join him as he walks around the neighborhood.
Introduce stretching exercises
Muscles not used tend to tighten up, making it more difficult to bend and twist as needed when your parent needs to make a quick pivot or if his foot slips on something on the ground. Even taking the time each day to wiggle toes, bend ankles back and forth and stretch out the back, can be helpful. He should be gentle and not stretch to any point of pain.
Drink plenty of water
Water keeps everything flowing better in the body. Have your elderly parent fill a large water bottle (at least 64 ounces) and make it his goal to have that water drank by the end of the day. If your parent drinks a lot of coffee (or other caffeinated drink), he may want to increase his water intake even more.
Clean up the house
Look around your parent’s home for tripping hazards such as loose rugs or debris on the floor. You can ask your elderly care provider to clean up floors and check rugs on her visits to make sure your parent’s home stays safe and free of tripping obstacles.
Purchase a walking assistant
While your elderly care provider can help your aging parent walk around when she’s at his home by proving an arm or hand, your parent will need to get around when she’s not there as well. Consider purchasing a cane, walking stick or walker for your parent to use. While your parent might balk at first, using a cane might just give him the confidence to get out and about without the fear of falling.
Get your parent a medical alert device
While it won’t prevent a fall, it will help alert the needed authorities if your parent does take a fall.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elderly Care Services in Petaluma CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
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