Just as stretching is important for an elderly person’s physical health, active range of motion exercises should be performed by elderly people that are capable of doing so. These types of exercises have many benefits, especially for the elderly. However, these exercises can come with some risks for the elder, as they can cause a person to lose their balance or harm themselves in some other way. A nursing home staff member such as a personal trainer or a home health aide should be able to assist your loved one with range of motion exercises to ensure that they are performed safely.
Range of Motion Exercise Benefits
These types of exercises have many benefits for the elderly. One positive of these exercises is that they can reduce the pain that those suffering from arthritis experience. Another benefit is that these exercises can build and strengthen muscle in a low impact way that is safer than weight lifting for the elderly. Because most nursing home residents spend a significant amount of time in bed or in a wheelchair, another benefit of range of motion exercises is increased circulation. This can ultimately prevent bedsores by stopping blood from pooling in certain areas of the body. Flexibility can also be increased through range of motion exercises. This can reduce a lot of stiffness pain that elderly people experience.
Types of Exercises
Range of motion exercises can be performed for many parts of the body, including:
Most range of motion exercises are performed by rotating a body part. For example, rolling your neck in a circle, rolling your shoulders, twisting your writs, twisting your ankles, etc. are all forms of range of motion exercises.
Performing These Exercises
All range of motion exercises should be taught and monitored by a professional. An elderly person should only perform the exercises that have been taught and approved for them. Additional range of motion exercises should be discussed before they are performed.
These exercises should also be performed in the same order each time your loved one does them. This can help a person remember the series of movements that need to be performed, and it will work muscle groups in order.
Range of motion exercises should also be performed slowly and smoothly. Try to avoid jerking the body or overextending the body. If your loved one ever experiences pain while performing these exercises, they should stop and discuss this issue with a medical professional.
Range of motion exercises can be a good foundation for your loved one’s exercise program. While these are fairly simple movements, they should be monitored by a medical professional or personal trainer. This can prevent any issues from arising and causing your loved one harm. If your loved one has experienced an injury while doing range of motion exercises because they were not properly monitored by a nursing home staff member, you should seek help.