5 Exercises That Can Help an Elderly Person Recover from a Stroke

By Anneliese Rosar, 9:00 am on

For seniors who have had a stroke, recovery can be an arduous journey. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging. The Allen live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

If your loved one’s mobility has been affected by the stroke, there are a number of exercises he or she can do to aid recovery. Here are five exercises that can help seniors  increase their flexibility and mobility after a stroke. 

1. Hand Exercises

For seniors whose hand mobility is affected by a stroke, putty exercises can increase dexterity and help them relearn basic skills. To perform these exercises, seniors need a ball of malleable putty. They can squeeze the ball between their fingers, pinch it between the thumb and forefinger, squeeze it with the entire hand, or use it to stretch each finger. By using the putty to spread, stretch, and strengthen the fingers and hand, your loved one can significantly enhance hand function, making tasks like eating, bathing, and dressing much easier. 

2. Eye Exercises

Strokes can also affect a senior’s vision. There are natural ways to boost vision, and one of the most popular is the pencil exercise. Your loved one should take a pencil and hold it about a foot in front of his or her eyes. Without moving the head, he or she should move the pencil from left to right while focusing on the tip. Your loved one can also move the pencil up and down, continuing to follow the point with his or her eyes. If seniors don’t have the dexterity to perform this exercise by themselves, their caregivers can move the pencil for them.

If your loved one has had a stroke, a trained caregiver can help him or her recover quickly. When recovering from a stroke, seniors often need extensive assistance once they return home from the hospital. Allen stroke care professionals are available 24/7 to help seniors maintain a high quality of life while managing the challenges of stroke recovery.

3. Core Exercises

After a stroke, even seniors who retain a good deal of mobility will find their balance has been affected. To reduce the risk of falling, seniors should strengthen their core muscles. A good way to strengthen the abdominal muscles is by performing a seated balance exercise. 

Your loved one should sit on a bench with feet flat on the floor. He or she can prop up against yoga blocks for extra support. Next, your loved one should lean to the right, placing the weight on the right elbow, supporting his or her weight with the forearm. He or she should return to the center position and perform the exercise on the left side. 

4. Leg Exercises

To increase stability after a stroke, it’s imperative that seniors do leg exercises. Seated leg exercises are a relatively simple way to strengthen leg muscles and boost mobility. Inner thigh squeezes are an effective leg exercise that most seniors can perform. 

Your loved one should begin the exercise seated upright in a chair. He or she should ball the hands into fists if possible and place them between the knees. If your loved one can’t make fists, a small yoga ball can be used instead. He or she should squeeze the knees together, count to ten, and release. 

5. Arm Exercises

After a stroke, it’s essential to activate the muscles. This helps “wake them up,” and increases the chances of a full recovery. If arm motion has been significantly impaired, your loved one should try a passive arm exercise such as a shoulder flexion. To perform this exercise, your loved one should start by lying on the back, lacing the fingers together, and raising the arms towards the ceiling. Your loved one should repeat the exercise several times to maximize results. 

Encourage your loved one to try these exercises while recovering from a stroke. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Allen Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call (972) 548-0392 to speak with a Care Manager to learn more about our elderly care services.

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