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Balance | Management Strategies

  1. If poor balance causes the person you care for to become less mobile, it may be useful to purchase a walking aid such as a cane, walker or wheelchair. If these items would be helpful to the person you care for, but the cost of them is unaffordable, there usually are programs in your area which can provide assistance to you. Correct use of aids is important. Canes should be used on the patient's good side, to shift the center of balance over the stronger leg. Walkers should be picked up and placed, not pushed along.

  2. If mobile, try and have the person you care for involved in some form of exercise, especially low impact exercise. Some low impact sports that improve balance are tai chi, yoga and water aerobics. Other activities include walking, dancing or bowling. These can improve posture, and strengthen muscles and joints, which all help to improve balance. Before starting a new exercise program, it is important to consult the family doctor for a physical exam .

  3. Look into exercise and fitness programs at local health clubs, senior centers or recreational centers which can provide exercise as well as social contact. These will increase balance and also decrease isolation.

  4. Poor balance can be the result of declining vision and/or hearing. Take the person you care for to get an eye exam to see whether he/she may need glasses or a change in prescription . Also, take them for a hearing exam to ensure that their hearing is not impaired.

  5. Replace light bulbs in rooms that the person uses in the evening with bulbs that have higher than usual wattage, to keep the room bright. Clean windows and cut bushes/branches away from the outside to let more light in during the day. Shadows created by dimmer bulbs can be disorienting or frightening.

  6. Consider making an appointment with a physiotherapist . They can suggest useful exercises and stretches for the person you care for and they can teach them to perform these activities safely. In many areas, care by a physiotherapist is covered by public or private health plans, especially after a referral from a physician. Therefore, make an appointment with the family doctor of the person you care for to discuss physiotherapy as an option for them.

  7. Install railings in parts of the house which are potentially dangerous for the person you care for. They are useful along stairwells, in the bathtub and beside the toilet. Consider the possibility of installing a cord which contacts the local emergency department when pulled. Locate these cords in areas where the risk of falling is high.



See Also:
Symptom Library > Leisure Activities > Social Interaction/ Withdrawal
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Sensory Input
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Mobility
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Agnosia
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise Program
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Delirium
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Dementia with Lewy Bodies
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Parkinson's Disease
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Last updated September 18, 2017
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