Keeping your elderly family member from falling might involve first understanding how her different muscle groups contribute to helping her to keep her balance. Once you understand where she’s having the most difficulty, you can help her to find solutions.
A Weak Core
The core muscles are the ones in the middle of your senior’s torso, both in the front and in the back. These muscles support her entire body and enable her to keep her balance when they’re functioning properly. If your elderly family member has weak core muscles, she may find it difficult to stand for longer periods of time and she might find that her back hurts often. Strengthening these muscles supports her midsection and the rest of her body.
Bunched up Hip Muscles
Sitting a lot causes the hip flexors to bunch up. If your senior is in bed a lot, those muscles might not be bunched up, but they also might not be as strong as they could be. Stretching those hip muscles allows your elderly family member to have the range of motion in her hip and leg that she needs to walk properly and to maintain her balance as she shifts her weight from one leg to the other.
The muscles that run from the back of your senior’s knee up the back of her thigh are her hamstrings. Tight hamstrings can cause your senior to have trouble extending her leg properly. They can also make walking difficult because those muscles are key to walking and to being able to maintain balance while walking. Stretching these muscles gently can help them to loosen up.
Weak Calf Muscles
Believe it or not, your senior’s calf muscles are also a big part of helping her to maintain her balance. These muscles, when too weak, give her problems as she’s walking and might cause her to roll her ankles or have difficulty properly picking up her feet. Loosening and working these muscles can be an important part of ensuring that your senior is able to walk safely.
Your senior’s doctor can help your elderly family member to find an exercise plan that helps her to gently work those muscles. It may also be a good idea to have someone available with your senior on a regular basis if she has balance issues. Home care services providers can be really helpful in making sure that your senior has what she needs to be as safe as possible.