December 20, 2018
Exercise is important in helping older adults with Alzheimer’s disease to enjoy better health. It can also make being a family caregiver easier because it reduces the chances of the person developing other health problems. Exercise also strengthens muscles to prevent falls, lessens pain, and improves sleep. It’s also a proven mood booster and could raise your loved one’s self-esteem. All of these things can lead to less anxiety and frustration for the older adult, which may result in a reduction of the challenging behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The trick to helping an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease to exercise more is to find activities that are both safe and that they enjoy doing. Of course, fitting in exercise also takes time, which many family caregivers don’t have much of. Fortunately, home care can help. Home care providers can spend time with your older family member doing a variety of physical activities that keep them moving and having fun.
Some of the activities a home care provider can do with the senior are:
Take a Walk: Walking is an excellent form of exercise that is both safe and easy to do. A home care provider can take the older adult for walks around the neighborhood or even simply walk them around the house or yard.
Stationary Bike: A home care provider can help the senior to get on a stationary bike safely and get them started pedaling. Putting a favorite television show or video on can encourage them to continue exercising and make it more enjoyable.
Dance Party: Your aging relative’s home care provider can turn on some music and invite the older adult to join them in dancing around the living room.
Household Tasks: Any household tasks that involve movement are also considered physical activity. So, if the home care provider encourages them to dust or vacuum, they’re getting in some exercise while also doing something that makes them feel useful.
Sometimes it’s hard to get a person with Alzheimer’s disease to exercise.
The idea may not sound appealing. One way to get around that is to not call it exercise. Just treat it like a normal part of the routine or a special activity.
Another thing that may keep people with Alzheimer’s from exercising is confusion about how to do the motions. A home care provider can show the senior how to do the motion by modeling it. If they get confused during the activity, the provider can remind them of what to do.