Video: What can be done to prevent falls?

by | Dementia, Seniors Health

Video transcript

Are you, or do you have a relative, aged over 65?

Alarmingly one in 3 people over 65 will experience a fall.

Our nervous system, vision, muscles and reaction time deteriorate as we age, affecting our balance and increasing our risk of falling.

Falls cause physical harm but also have a psychological effect through fear and loss of confidence.

So, what can we do about it?

A recent study looked at 108 trials to prevent falls involving 24,000 people (average age 76 years and 77% were women)and found that: exercise reduced the rate and number of falls by one-quarter.

But what type of exercise was of greatest benefit?

Stretching or strengthening exercises; dance classes; Tai Chi; and endurance programs all offered some benefit, but the exercise that proved best at falls prevention was specific everyday functional exercise that involved coordination and balance.

Such as:

  • Sitting to standing
  • Reaching forwards, and sideways placing objects on a table or shelves
  • Climbing a short flight of stairs with a hand rail
  • Walking

These exercises, like training for a specific sport, improve your ability to react to challenges in your environment, and keep you on your feet!

Talk to your doctor, exercise physiologist or physiotherapist, or browse this site for more information.