The pursuit of an active lifestyle—not to mention the physical and mental benefits associated with exercise—for seniors doesn’t come to an end just because of limited mobility. Although every senior is different, barriers to movement can usually be overcome with modified exercises and the selection of activities likely to promote muscle strength and flexibility. If you have an aging parent who is living with limited mobility, here are a few safe strength-building and engaging physical activities.
Being submerged in water automatically reduces the weight of limbs, making it easier to move. The warm water in heated indoor pools also has therapeutic benefits that can relieve muscle tension and soreness. For seniors who can handle something a little more challenging, water aerobics offers a safer alternative to traditional aerobic activities.
Keeping muscles strong tends to help seniors alleviate joint stiffness that’s often associated with age. Lifting appropriate weights (dumbbells usually work best) can prevent muscle deterioration due to inactivity. Strength training can also involve something as simple as pushing against your loved one’s hands while he or she gently pushes back.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise in safety and comfort. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Mesa, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
It’s important for seniors to exercise on a regular basis to increase their mobility. However, you’ll need to choose exercises that are fun and easy for your loved one to perform. Even with limited mobility, there are exercises your loved one can do to keep his or her body active. In particular, seniors with limited mobility can benefit from activities that promote flexibility, such as yoga (with modified movements) and simple stretches from one side to the other. Even taking casual walks with the assistance of a cane or moving a wheelchair by hand from one point to another can make it easier to perform everyday movements.
Seniors limited to wheelchairs can often do things such as performing controlled repetitive arm movements, catching and throwing a ball, and making exaggerated grasping motions with their hands and fingers.
Seniors with limited mobility may require assistance in and outside the home. Mesa senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Safety is always of the utmost importance for seniors who are starting or increasing their level of physical activity. Along with performing activities in the presence of a family member or a caregiver, a few additional tips to ensure and promote senior safety include:
- Start slowly, increasing activity level at a comfortable rate
- Set small, achievable goals to reduce frustration
- Do proper warm-ups and cooldowns to prevent cramping and muscle injuries
- Drink plenty of fluids
Seeking approval from a doctor is the first step any senior should take before starting an exercise program or participating in activities beyond the normal daily routine. While some soreness is normal, especially for seniors without a previous history of being active, any sudden pain or persistent discomfort should be reported immediately.
If your loved one has physical challenges preventing him or her from enjoying activities independently, a professional caregiver can help. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (480) 699-4899 today.