Are there any specific exercises out there that are geared towards seniors that will help them to gain better balance?
Are there any specific exercises out there that are geared towards seniors that will help them to gain better balance? I'm looking for some fall preventive type exercises.
You ask a good question, and one that comes up fairly often as seniors, and their caregivers, are eager to reduce the risk of falling. The answer is a resounding "yes," there are many exercises that improve balance. There are also exercise classes and programs designed just for this, from tai chi to aqua aerobics. As falling is the number one cause of death among seniors, fall risk prevention is a Big Deal, attracting lots of research. The result is a growing body of knowledge on exercise and balance improvement. So much that I can't easily cover it here, but I can give you some good resources. First, check this article on finding exercise classes that improve balance. Second, here is a blog on fall prevention that links to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website that's full of helpful advice. Finally, a great way to find senior resources in your area is by using the Area Agency on Aging's Eldercare Locator, a government run referral program for all kinds of local senior services, including exercise classes (often found at senior and community centers). The locator covers far more than hiring care.
One more thought: If your parent needs or wants to exercise at home there's an array of senior exercise DVD's, including some specializing in balance improvement. Check at your local movie rental store, or look on-line using the search terms "senior exercise dvds," or "balance improvement exercise dvds." Some on-line stores let customers review or rate DVD's, which is a good way of seeing what other people think. Good luck and let us know if you find any good resources we can pass on to others.
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