As an and loss of are to be expected. As seniors age, is a major cause for concern as it causes and reduction in . ,
, , disease, and surgeries are the main reasons for many seniors living less active lifestyles. When you’re used to around your entire life unaided, learning to walk with a walker, cane, or even using a wheelchair is a struggle.
The world is harder for people with less to get around, but the good news is that there are exercises you can do to increase your .
will allow you to walk with greater ease, feel more stable and be more confident. Aside from flexibility exercises, strength training exercise, and resistance training in low intensity levels, older patients can improve their walking and mobility with the following tips:
Some tips on how to get your again:
1. Get Moving
are prone to lying or lounging around on their comfiest couch all day long. But you and I know that simply sitting around won’t help build . What you need to do is to help your elder parent maintain an active lifestyle – or introduce them to move and get into an active lifestyle as soon as possible.
This is especially important if the older adult is a stroke survivor, or has had some surgery like knee replacement surgery, hip surgery, etc.
Being active engages your muscles and prevents atrophy.
We understand that starting all over again as you are older can be frustrating to say the least, but once you start on the road to recovery and gain , it becomes easier than ever.
Here’s how you can start again more enjoyable and easier:
- Join a senior group
- Meet people on meetup.com
- Take walks around the park or neighborhood
2. Get the Required
may be able to walk unassisted, but if your is disrupted due to , a fall, or disease, it is highly likely that you may experience , , and general weakness.
If this is the case, using a walking aid is highly recommended. The right can offer maximum while working all your muscles properly.
Just ensure that your beloved older adult is relying on the right mobility aid, meaning, if they only need a cane to help them walk, please ensure that they are using a cane and not a walker.
This is because if they use a that offers too much assistance, they will only be using less of their and rely on the too much.
3. Work on Balance and
Balance is key as your starts to walk again. This is because improper balance can lead to slips and falls leading to further injury and .
A fall can set you back months, and if you break a or leg in the process, your can end up worse than ever before.
Proper balance comes from engaging your core muscles, back, butt, and hips.
Here are a couple of exercises that will help an gain balance:
Standing on One Leg-
- Stand next to a wall or bed. This is to brace yourself when you fall off balance.
- Try standing on one leg for short intervals of time. We advise that you start with your dominant leg as you start.
- Repeat the on both sides.
Side Leg Raises-
- Lean on a wall or any sturdy surface.
- Lift your leg sideways using your muscles.
- Repeat this on both legs.
Back Leg Raises-
- Stand close to a sturdy surface.
- Lift your leg backward. Ensure that the is straight to engage the glutes.
Now, you may already be aware of the many benefits that Yoga has to offer, but for seniors who are just recovering from a knee replacement surgery, hip fracture, or suffering from dementia, gentle yoga is a fun and effective way to counter muscle weakness and get walking again with ease.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Surplus body weight puts more weight on the knees while and it is often the most complained about pain in an . The key is to with diet as you start helping them to walk again.
Consult your doctor or a nutritionist who can help you determine your ideal body weight and provide you with a solid balanced diet to stay healthy and keep the extra pounds off.
5. Engage in
Even if your elderly parent has never done any strength training exercises previously, it is essential that they start with light intensity strength training to gain muscle strength for walking again.
A personal trainer or physical therapist can help an older adult with strength training.
6. Consult Your Doctor
It goes without saying that it is important to know what your limitations are before moving forward. Before you start any form of , you need to ensure that you don’t have a health condition that requires you to remain inactive for a longer period.
Discuss your a who can guide you with exercises or activities you can do to help you with , , and balance. with your medical professional and request a referral to
The doctor will be able to recommend a highly trained professional to provide you with the help and guidance you need to improve your .
When an is engaged in some or , ensure that they have a safe environment around them, free from obstacles, and pointy surfaces.
Injuries for seniors can hinder any progress made on and can cause a serious loss of , depending on the severity of the injury.
Learning to walk after a :
If your is a , they may require more time and effort to regain their and agility. You can use a , , or any other during the process.
Here are some tips for elderly adults to start after a :
Focus on the Toes and Legs
It is normal for an elderly adult to experience issues with the toes after a , and this can make quite difficult.
What you can do is to try to pull their toes downward with your hands to improve their flexibility.
You can use your thumb and press into the arch of your foot to help your toes extend downward, which will strengthen the muscles over time. Hold this position for about 20 to 30 seconds.
Stretch the Hips and Legs
Your legs and hips will also need to help you regain your balance.
Start with light intensity exercises initially. Gradually work your way toward more advanced options as you regain your balance and start to get stronger.
Chair exercise for strength and better balance:
Start by trying a chair that begins by:
- Stand up straight and find your balance
- Gently shift your body weight to one side.
- Swing your other leg up to the side, then balance yourself for about 10 seconds, using the chair as support.
- Repeat this and switch your legs as many times as possible.
Once you feel confident, you can try this same to relearn without the support of the chair. The key is to re-learn how to maintain your balance and to regain strength in your legs without the help of a cane or walker.
As you’re learning to walk again, try some leg exercises for stroke patients that will restore your body strength. This can involve anything from using a stationary bike to doing simple leg lifts as many times as possible per day.
Once you start to regain your strength and your confidence, the chances of after a will start to increase. Remember to remain diligent and talk to your about any concerns regarding your progress.
Lift weights: Try lifting small weights. Start light by lifting one to two-pound weights daily. Soup cans are a great alternative if you don’t have light weights at home. This will help you rebuild the strength in your upper body.
Stretch every day: Do simple stretches every day. Stretching can do wonders for your body’s ability to heal and get stronger. You can try an called chair yoga which will help you stretch without having to be on the floor.
Walk Regularly: If you’re feeling confident about walking more, take a stroll whenever you can to keep your muscles active. We recommend that you avoid sitting for too long to prevent any pain and stiffness.
We understand that learning to walk again is a difficult and slow process, especially for an older adult who has had some serious illness, suffered a stroke, had surgery, or is suffering from dementia and related illness. We hope that the article has given enough insights into how to get the elderly walking again.
Do let us know what you think in the comments below!