Regular exercise helps reduce risk of falls

Older people should take sufficient calcium, and keep their home neat and well-lit

Simple adjustments can help older people reduce the risk of falls. The Health Promotion Board offers these five tips:

1 Exercise regularly: Stay active with 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Do strength and balance exercises, such as taiji and qigong, at least twice a week. You can also do these exercises:

Warm-ups: Stationary march with arm swing

For flexibility: Tricep stretch

For balance: Single-leg stand

Cool-down: Standing quadricep stretch

2 Keep your bones strong: Weak bones tend to break more easily.

Older folk should take sufficient calcium - the daily requirement for those aged 51 years and above is 1,000mg.

Calcium-rich foods include milk, spinach or tau kwa. You can also take calcium supplements.

3 Go for regular eye-checks: Do an eye check-up once a year. This ensures that you are not wearing glasses with the wrong prescription or suffering from eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts.

4 Wear well-fitting, non-slip shoes: Put them on even if you are just going somewhere nearby.

5 Keep your home safe and neat: Rearrange furniture to make clear paths for walking and keep your home well-lit so that you can see better.

Lester Wong

•The Falls Prevention Awareness Campaign guides for senior folk and caregivers can be downloaded at www.HealthyAgeing.sg/FallsPrevention


No More Hazards, No More Falls


Older people should start with a warm-up exercise such as a stationary march with arm swing (above). PHOTO: HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD


Tricep stretch for flexibility. PHOTO: HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD


LEFT: Single-leg stand for balance. RIGHT: Standing quadricep stretch to cool down. PHOTOS: HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'Regular exercise helps reduce risk of falls'. Print Edition | Subscribe