The Four Best Ways to Prevent Falls in Older People

Falls in older adults can lead to greater problems. Lack of mobility and muscle atrophy isolate seniors, cause depression, and may lead to lowered immunity. Preventing falls is an important activity within the elder community.

NewsMedical reported that balance and strength training can lessen falls among older people by nearly a third. Despite these findings, less than 10% of seniors engage in strength training, and a much number engage in balance activities.

The University of Sydney designed and tested the Lifestyle integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) programme. It came up with the four most important steps to preventing falls in older people:

  1. Embedding balance and lower limb strength training into daily routines
  2. Walking
  3. Stepping over objects
  4. Moving from sitting to standing

They found a significant (31%) reduction in the rate of falls for participants in the LiFE programme compared with the control group.

LiFE participants improved in:

  • static and dynamic balance
  • ankle strength
  • function and participation in daily life.

The suggestion of the findings are that this program improves both fall risk and frailty.

Professor Meg Morris, from the University of Melbourne, told NewsMedical: “Therapeutic exercises, education, and physical activities need to be sustainable, enjoyable, and effective over the long term.”

She added: “The belief that falls should be accepted and tolerated as part of the aging process is a myth that needs dispelling. Many falls can and should be prevented.

Exercise programs to prevent falls in older adults are available in Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences across North America.