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5 Easy Exercises for Aging Adults with Parkinson’s

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on April 8, 2019

Seniors with Parkinson’s benefit from doing what they can to keep their muscles and joints in good condition. However, you may find that your senior loved one’s exercise routine needs to be modified as he or she moves through the different stages of this condition. These five simple exercises are possible for most seniors with Parkinson’s to do, and they all provide substantial benefits that address the symptoms of the condition.

1. Go Ballroom Dancing

One of the best things about dancing is that it doesn’t even feel like exercise. However, ballroom dancing burns calories and strengthens balance and muscle control. Seniors also benefit from having the physical support of their dancing partners in case they suddenly freeze up or lose their balance. Make sure to set your loved one up with a partner who understands Parkinson’s. Your parent will love hitting his or her weekly exercise goals through learning how to dance. 

Even seniors in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Tucson elderly 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.

2. Do Hand Training

Parkinson’s disease can also affect fine motor skills. While it may seem like an extremely simple form of exercise, using hand squeezers and stress balls increases strength and flexibility in the fingers. This exercise is also ideal for seniors who are mostly confined to chairs. In addition to using special grips to squeeze, your loved one can also work out his or her fine motor skills by fastening buttons and tying knots.

3. Learn Yoga Poses

Yoga increases flexibility, which often begins to wane when muscles start to stiffen. Seniors who practice yoga also gain the opportunity to strengthen their bodies while being close to the ground. Beginners can use special poses and accommodations such as foam blocks to provide additional support as they learn how to do yoga. Your loved one can choose to do a couple of poses or an entire class, depending on how he or she feels each day.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Tucson 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.

4. Build Muscles with Bodyweight Exercises

Seniors with Parkinson’s disease may need to limit their use of free weights and barbells due to the risk of injury. However, they can still get a full workout by using their body weight as resistance. Traditional exercises such as pushups and wall sits can still be done by seniors with Parkinson’s disease. However, some exercises may need to be modified, such as putting the knees down to do pushups or doing them against a wall. You can also appoint a spotter to prevent your loved one from experiencing an injury while doing repetitions.

5. Go on a Walk

Walking is a form of exercise that almost anyone can do. You can also adjust this exercise to fit your loved one’s needs and abilities. For instance, he or she can choose to walk up an incline to add a greater challenge on a good day. Alternatively, you can take your loved one on a walk on an indoor track that is flat and located near benches if he or she has difficulty with mobility on another day.

Seniors with Parkinson’s who need assistance to exercise safely can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Tucson 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. If you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one, call one of the friendly Care Managers at Home Care Assistance today at (520) 276-6555.