The numerous advantages of exercise are obvious, but what isn’t as well recognized is that exercise for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be particularly helpful in many different ways. It can help decrease the risk for muscle weakness as well as other problems that stem from inactivity, can ease the effects of emotional and behavioral changes, and much more.
As with anybody enthusiastic about starting a new exercise regime, a health care provider should first be consulted. Then, try integrating more physical activity into each day for a senior loved one with dementia, utilizing the following strategies in accordance with each person’s individual capabilities and the appropriate stage associated with the disease:
Seniors in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can enjoy fairly active and social exercises, including things such as golf, swimming, dancing, bowling, and walking, though some level of guidance and oversight may be required. In time, increased supervision will probably be needed as the disease advances.
Mid to Late Stages
The mid to later stages of Alzheimer’s disease are often accompanied by elevated levels of confusion and anxiety. For that reason, loud or overly exciting activities ought to be avoided. Repetitive exercises, like indoor bicycling and walking, as well as tasks like folding laundry, help to lessen anxiety levels as the older adult does not have to make any decisions in regards to the activity or try to remember what to do next.
During the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, children’s toys may be well suited for supporting hand-eye coordination. These toys are usually colorful, easy to hold onto, and are built to stimulate the brain. Also, stress balls or soft clay-like products can be squeezed to help strengthen the muscles in the hands.
Advanced Home Health Care’s care providers are fully trained and experienced in creative, kind, and thoughtful care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, and we are always here to help families enhance wellbeing for the seniors they love. We are skilled in helping to successfully manage such difficult behaviors as aggression, sundowning, wandering and much more, and can offer overnight respite care to allow family caregivers to get a restful night’s sleep while knowing their senior loved one is secure and safe.
Call us at 800.791.7785 to learn more about our expert in-home dementia care, or to request some additional tips and resources specific to the challenges you are facing. We’re happy to offer specialized Burlington home care, with services in neighboring communities, that helps keep senior loved ones safe in the home. Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities we serve.