Helpful balance exercises for the elderly include standing on one foot, walking heel to toe, back leg raises and side leg raises. The elderly can practice these exercises almost anywhere, but they should have a sturdy object or wall nearby to prevent falls. As they progress, they can no longer use the object and they may close their eyes to make the exercises more difficult.
Standing on one foot is done for up to 10 seconds at a time and repeated 10 to 15 times. The person then repeats the process with the other leg.
When walking heel to toe, the person begins by standing with one foot directly in front of the other. The front foot's heel should be touching or almost touching the rear foot's toes. He then takes a step with the rear foot, placing it directly in front of the other foot. To keep his balance, he can choose a spot straight ahead to look at while stepping. This exercise is done for about 20 steps.
Back and side leg raises involve lifting one leg in that direction and holding it there for one second. The person repeats each exercise for 10 or 15 repetitions, and then performs it using the other leg. Back leg raises exercise the back and buttocks, while side leg raises exercise the hips, thighs and buttocks.