Seniors with Parkinson’s disease often need to increase their efforts to maintain their coordination. Your aging loved one’s muscular strength, balance, and flexibility all play a role in how he or she coordinates movements, and working on all these can preserve the ability to stay independent. These five exercises are perfect for building coordination, and they’re adaptable enough to allow your parent to do each one with assistance.
1. Water Aerobics
Exercising in the water takes pressure off the joints, and it also reduces the fear of falling, since the water provides support. Water aerobics involves performing movements such as arm and leg raises that are combined into routines. Seniors also benefit when their water aerobics sessions are set to music that encourages them to move their bodies to specific rhythms.
2. Tai Chi
This form of exercise has ancient roots, and it’s often practiced outdoors in groups. Your loved one may find his or her interest piqued by the option of turning exercise into a social experience. Tai chi also incorporates slow, precise movements that help seniors with Parkinson’s increase their balance without feeling overly challenged.
Even seniors in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s can get the benefits of regular exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. At-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
3. Hand Dexterity Exercises
An exercise routine doesn’t always have to include the whole body. Seniors with Parkinson’s often have difficulty coordinating their fine motor movements, and this is particularly noticeable in the hands. Give your loved one options to exercise the fine muscles in the hands, wrists, and lower arms each day. For example, your loved one may play specialized games that encourage him or her to fit pieces of a puzzle into specific spots. Your loved one can also sew, knit, or do other precision-focused hobbies to develop hand-eye coordination.
You’ll often see this exercise suggested for seniors with Parkinson’s disease, and it’s because walking is one of the easiest ways to start building coordination. Try taking your loved one on walks that involve different types of terrain, which will stimulate the legs and feet to recognize how to respond to changes such as moving from grass to a sidewalk. Your loved one can also benefit from walking routes that include taking small steps, such as those used to step up onto a curb or into a building.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Lehigh Valley respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
Yoga practice can be as simple or as complicated as your loved one is capable of handling. If your loved one is new to yoga, you can start with a few simple poses that work well with support, such as a modified chair pose. Doing yoga requires moving the body into different poses that require various muscles to work together. Yoga also increases flexibility and balance, which can help your loved one perform daily activities with better coordination. A yoga routine can also be adapted to fit your loved one’s abilities on days when Parkinson’s symptoms seem to fluctuate.
Seniors with Parkinson’s who need help exercising safely can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Lehigh Valley elderly home 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. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at 484-350-3874 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.