Exercises to Help Seniors Recover After Surgery

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Post-Surgery Exercises for Seniors

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Post-surgery exercises help seniors regain strength and stamina once discharged from the hospital. Most post-surgery exercises begin with a small number of repetitions or range of motion and build from there as weeks go on. Regular physical activity after surgery will also help increase energy, promote relaxation, and prevent blood clots. Read on for exercise suggestions that can make for a more efficient recovery period and process, and always be sure to speak with your loved one’s physician before beginning a new exercise program. Deep Breathing After surgery, deep breathing exercises are important to keep lungs healthy. You or your senior loved one’s Scottsdale, AZ caregiver can guide him or her through this exercise. Since getting into a seated, crosses-legged position after surgery could be difficult, MedlinePlus suggests sitting upright, allowing feet to hang from the side of the bed. You senior loved one should start by taking normal breaths, and then work up to taking longer and deeper breaths. Every time he or she takes a deep breath, have them hold it for two to five seconds, then exhale the same way they would blow out a candle. Have them repeat this 10 to 15 times before moving onto the next exercise. Ankle Pumps and Circles If your senior loved one had knee surgery or has spent a fair amount of time on bed rest, ankle pumps can help reduce swelling, increase circulation, and prevent blood clots. Have your senior loved one start by rotating the foot both clockwise and counterclockwise while keeping the toes pointed upward, then, practice pointing and flexing the foot at the ankles. Be sure his or her foot fully extends and the toes point both towards the body and away from it. These exercises can all be done while in a reclined position on a bed. Walk Walking is a great exercise after hip replacement surgery. This type of exercise understandably begins indoors with short distances and the assistance of a walker. When your senior loved one is able and has a physician’s approval, he or she can begin walking unassisted, although you may still want a part-time Scottsdale caregiver present to help with mobility support if necessary. Arm Lifts The American Cancer Society recommends doing arm lift exercises to help reduce swelling and restore arm motion. This is especially important for women who have undergone surgery for breast cancer. Raise the arm on the side where the surgery occurred above heart level for a total of 45 minutes two or three times per day. This can be done while reclined on a bed, and pillows may be used to hold the affected arm at this height and position. Shoulder Shrugs and Head Turns If your senior loved one has had heart surgery, bending the head forward and backward and then side-to-side is tremendously beneficial. Have your senior loved one aim for five times each, twice per day, and this type of head movement should help to restore flexibility and give a boost to posture. For more information on post-surgery exercises for your senior loved one, contact Scottsdale Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist your senior loved one post-surgery with mobility support, preparing meals, bathing, and personal grooming. Call us at (480) 448-6215 and find out how we can help promote your senior loved one’s health, happiness, and safety.