From cognitive difficulties to damaged joints, there are several conditions that can cause balance issues in the golden years. Even seniors who are perfectly healthy may find it difficult to maintain their balance. Since untreated balance issues often lead to dangerous falls, it’s important for caregivers to take steps to address these issues. Here are a few ways you can help your senior loved one better maintain his or her balance.
1. Address Health Conditions That Affect Balance
There are many medical conditions that can cause balance issues, including strokes, arthritis, impaired eyesight, inner ear damage, diabetes-related nerve damage, high blood pressure, and medications that lead to dizziness. One of the best ways to treat loss of balance is to speak to your loved one’s doctor about the issue and seek potential treatments.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Oakville, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Suggest Exercises to Build Balance
Though the parts of the inner ear that regulate balance cannot be affected by exercise, there are many tiny muscle adjustments and nerve signals the brain uses to keep a person balanced each day. Regularly doing things that require balance builds the muscle and nerve connections needed to balance the body. Seniors should practice things like walking heel to toe, standing on one leg, and doing tai chi movements. If the balance issues are severe, your loved one may benefit from consultations with a physical therapist.
3. Encourage Lifestyle Changes
Many balance issues are due to a combination of high blood pressure, obesity, and a lack of physical fitness. In these cases, it’s necessary for seniors to make several lifestyle changes to regain their balance. Older adults may need to avoid salt and alcohol and drink more water to regulate their blood pressure. Losing weight is challenging, but it can increase balance. You can help by monitoring your loved one’s caloric intake and encouraging him or her to be more active.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Oakville Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
4. Get an Aid for Maintaining Balance
Assistive devices can keep your loved one safe and upright if his or her balance continues to worsen. These devices include options like handles mounted near toilets, chairs that elevate to put seniors on their feet, and walkers and canes. Devices that assist with balance make it easier for seniors to move around on their own even if they are experiencing balance issues.
5. Remove Obstacles That May Worsen Balance Issues
If your loved one is exhibiting issues with balance, make sure his or her safety isn’t worsened by the environment. Even small changes in elevation, like a threshold by a door or a rug next to a sink, can be enough to trip a senior who is experiencing balance difficulties. Remove anything that might get in your loved one’s way along pathways to bedrooms, favorite chairs, bathrooms, or other places he or she frequents.
Caring for older adults with balance issues can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Oakville, ON, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call us at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a free in-home consultation.