Parkside Blogs + Articles

Are Falls a Concern For You (or a Loved One)?

Elderly woman falling walking on footpath
Eoghan Rosser, Exercise Physiologist

1/3 of Australians over 65 fall every year. Are falls a concern for you or for your parents? Are you worried about getting injured, having to leave your home and losing your independence? You’re not alone. 

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths in older Australians. While injuries related to falling such as a fractured hip, or wrist can be serious, they can also really take a toll on your confidence and make it impossible to stay in touch with friends or do your normal daily routine at home. 

The great news is that specific exercises that we use here at Parkside can reduce your risk of having a fall by almost 50% in older Australians. 

Here are my top tips to help reduce falls:

  1. Before you get up out of your chair to fetch your cup of tea, stand up and then sit back down in the chair. Then, do it again. Repeat this 5 times, then enjoy your tea. If you need to use the armrest to help you at first, go for it. But as you do it more often, challenge yourself to not use your arms and see if you’ve improved
  2. While you’re here waiting for the kettle to boil, practice your balance. Stand in a position that’s challenging but not going to compromise your safety. Try having your feet close together, if that’s easy, a “tightrope” stance, and if you’ve nailed that, try balancing on one leg! It’s not as easy as it looks, trust me! But make sure your hands are hovering just above the bench to catch yourself if you need.
  3. While you’re brushing your teeth, rise up and down on your toes while holding onto the bench – I promise your calves will burn after that one!
  4. Make an Exercise Physiology appointment with me, where we can get you started on an individualised exercise program looking to improve your strength and balance. I’d also strongly recommend our group exercise class, Strong Stable Seniors designed to help get you stronger and with specially selected exercises, improve your balance and prevent you falling. While reviewing your health history, we may identify other areas of your health and wellbeing that may benefit from a structured exercise program.

Just remember, Exercise Physiology isn’t about making you an elite athlete. It’s about making daily tasks – getting up out of a chair, playing with the grand kids, bowls, you name it – just that much easier and getting you back to the things you love. 

Not only can exercise make you stronger and reduce your risk of falling, but it can help manage any joint pain, improve your energy levels and can prevent/manage any other chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease. 

If you’ve had a fall, if you feel unsteady, or if you’re worried about a parent or loved one, then click below to grab our Falls Prevention Factsheet for more details about how we can help you stay safe, independent and at home!

Click Here for Falls Prevention Handout

If you’d like to book in for an Exercise Physiology falls assessment, just click call us on 9548 3372 or click the button below to book online (choose option 3. Exercise Physiology Initial Appointment)

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