If you are the caregiver for an elderly relative with Parkinson’s, you already know it causes tremors, rigid movement and inaccurate movements. What you may not know is how beneficial exercise can be. In some cases, exercise can help the brain maintain old connections and restore lost ones, making movement less rigid and more fluid. The more that seniors with Parkinson’s move their muscles, the more control they can develop over their symptoms. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care in Scottsdale, suggests the following exercises for elderly who have Parkinson’s.
Swimming or water exercise classes are strongly recommended for people who have Parkinson’s. Different strokes, such as breaststroke, freestyle or backstroke, challenge alternating motor skills. Because the arms, legs, head and eyes are doing different things at different times, muscle coordination is promoted, and the gentle, yet effective, resistance provided by water can help decrease muscle stiffness.
This daily activity is a simple, yet effective, exercise for people with Parkinson’s. Walking, whether fast or slow-paced, requires balance and rhythm. Walking encourages attention to details and surroundings, which can help with focus and motor skills. If your loved one has unsteady balance, make sure he or she has a cane or walking stick. Also, because freezing spells can happen at any time, be sure you, another family member, or your senior loved one’s local Scottsdale caregiver accompanies your loved one on his or her walk.
Classes or DVDs like Zumba Gold, which is designed for seniors, is a cardiovascular activity that promotes good posture, rhythmic movements, and fluidity. These skills, as well as good biomechanics, can be aid in decreasing stiffness and improving mobility and gait.
At any age, in almost any physical state, yoga is a great, slow-paced exercise that builds breath control, abdominal and back strength, and balance. Practicing controlled, fluid movements like those in yoga can effectively soften muscle rigidity and help steady tremors.
Though fluid movement and other actions can be difficult for seniors with Parkinson’s, exercising can aid the brain in making and keeping connections that Parkinson’s may have disabled. If your elderly relative with Parkinson’s needs an extra hand, Home Care Assistance provides Parkinson’s home care in Scottsdale. Call (480) 448-6215 to speak with a qualified Care Manager who can tell you more about the services offered and schedule your complimentary in-home consultation.