Regular exercise is critical for maintaining good physical, emotional and mental health, even when an aging loved one is bedridden due to injury or illness. Without exercise, the muscles of a bed-bound patient can atrophy, bones can weaken and bed sores can become a debilitating problem. Fortunately, bedridden seniors or those receiving care after a hospital stay can still perform a series of simple exercises to improve their health and cognitive function, as well as their range of motion, strength and endurance.
- Hand Exercises
Spread fingers apart as wide as possible, and then close your hand into a tight fist. Touch your thumb to the tip of each finger. Repeat on the other hand. Flex your hand back from the wrist, and then fold your hand forward as far as possible. Without moving your elbow and with your hands held flat, move them from one side to the other.
- Arm Exercises
Bending your arms at the elbow, bring hands with palms up and touch your shoulders, and then slowly lower them to your side.With arms held straight at your side, slowly lift them above your head, and then return them to the starting position in a flying type of motion. Lastly, with hands clasped behind your head, spread your elbows as far apart as possible, and bring them close together.
- Shoulder Stretches
Shrug your shoulders up towards your ears, and then press them down. Next, round your shoulders forward, and then back as if trying to squeeze shoulder blades together. Roll your shoulders forwards in circles, and then backwards in a circular motion.
- Leg Lifts
With both knees bent and with the bottom of your feet resting on your bed, slightly lift one leg. Keep the knee bent and support the lifted leg by grabbing your thigh with your hands. Circle the ankle on the lifted leg.
Remember that before starting your aging loved one on an exercise regimen, it’s important to consult with a qualified physician. It also might be a good idea to look into hiring a 24/7 live-in caregiver who can help with physical therapy exercises, hygiene to prevent bedsores and companionship to ward off loneliness and depression.
If you would like to set up a free in-home consultation with Home Care Assistance of Centennial, CO please click here or call us at 303.957.3100. We are on call 24/7 and are more than happy to answer any of your questions.