Aging comes with many issues, including a loss of balance along with slower reflexes. These two things combined can make it more difficult for seniors to regain their balance if they start to fall. A third of people will have potentially serious falls by the time they get to age 65. That’s why it’s important to always keep balance in mind. Here, we’ll share 6 simple ways to regain your balance and prevent falls.

How to Test Your Balance


Here’s a simple balance test that’s recommended by physical therapists and easy to try at home. You can check your balance by standing on one foot and lifting the other six inches from the floor. Count to 30 with your foot off the floor. If you start to wobble before you get to thirty, you may have balance issues. The key to balance lies in three areas:

    • Vision

This sense allows you to perceive your location in relation to objects in your environment. It helps you to avoid tripping over hazards around you.

    • Inner Ear Nerve Receptors

Your inner ear has canals filled with fluid that send information to your brain when your head moves.

    • Proprioceptors

These are nerve endings in your muscles, joints and tendons. These nerve endings send information about your body’s movement to your brain. They help you to be aware of your body’s movement and position and allow for your body to shift to maintain equilibrium.

If you recognize potential problems in any of these areas, notify your doctor, home health nurse or physical therapist. It could indicate an issue that may affect your sense of balance.

Health Issues That Can Cause Balance Problems


    • Kinetosis (Motion Sickness)

When you are in a boat or car, your inner ear may detect motion while your eyes tell you that you are steady. Those mixed signals can cause dizziness that is usually followed by nausea and potential disruptions in balance.

This is the sensation of spinning or dizziness. It is often caused by problems in the inner ear.

    • Postural Hypotension

If your blood pressure falls as you stand after sitting or lying down, this could cause you to feel lightheaded or dizzy.

  • Neurological Problems

If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or have recently had a stroke, these conditions could affect your balance.

  • Nerve Damage in Feet

This can occur as a result of type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism or a range of other health conditions.

  • Side Effects of Medication

When you start a new medication, discuss any potential side effects with your doctor or pharmacist. Some medications, or combinations of medications, can cause you to feel dizzy or to have vertigo.

Fall Prevention Exercises


Fortunately, balance can be maintained by exercising to strengthen your hips, knees and ankles. These exercises are recommended and used by home health providers and physical therapists. They can help you or a loved one to regain and maintain balance.

Before beginning any exercise routine, consult with a medical professional. This is especially important if you have an underlying health condition or have recently been discharged from the hospital.

      • 1. Standing on One Leg

Stand and raise one leg with your knee bent at a 45-degree angle. Hold this posture for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times and then switch to the other leg.

      • 2. Walking Heel-to-Toe

Take 10 steps forward by placing the heel of one foot against the toe of the other.

      • 3. Side Stepping

Step to one side with your left foot, then bring your right foot to meet your left. With practice, you can start cross-stepping. Cross-step by bringing your left foot over your right foot, then reverse it so that you bring your right foot over your left.

      • 4. Unassisted Standing

Stand upright from a sitting position without the use of your arms.

      • 5. Tai Chi

This exercise for your mind and body is also called moving meditation and is a combination of exercises for flexibility, balance and aerobic fitness.

      • 6. Pump Your Ankles When You Get Out of Bed

If you find that getting out of bed makes you dizzy or lightheaded, sit on the edge of the bed before standing and pump your ankles (start by pulling your toes up towards the ceiling and then point your toes down).

Fall prevention is one of the focuses of in-home care and home health. At Salus Homecare, our in-home aides and in-home physical therapists make it a priority to ensure that the homes of California seniors are safe and that their medical conditions are monitored. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation or learn more about our beneficial home care programs.