Top Exercises for Better Coordination in Seniors with Parkinson’s

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The neurodegenerative disease process known as Parkinson’s is commonly associated with involuntary muscle spasms, tremors, and rigidity. Research indicates that up to 25 percent of people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s fall during the first year of living with the disorder. Research also explains that exercise increases the balance and coordination needed to remain safe. There are many different types of exercises seniors with Parkinson’s can perform to help with coordination.

Hand Exercises

By performing various hand exercises, seniors with Parkinson’s are better able to enjoy crocheting, knitting, doing needlework, and playing musical instruments. One simple hand exercise is composed of the following steps:

  • Place each of the hands on the thighs while seated
  • Turn one hand palm side up
  • Alternate the hands by rotating them palm up and palm down for 20 repetitions

Here’s another helpful exercise:

  • Stretch the arms out to the side
  • Bring the arms together in front and touch the index fingers tip to tip
  • Hold the position for 20 seconds
  • Repeat 20 times 

Seniors can also practice picking up small objects such as beads or coins with the fingers.

Leg Lifts

While sitting, seniors can lift one leg and put it down with the foot flat on the floor, then repeat the exercise with the other leg. The exercise, which can also be performed while listening to music, strengthens the legs and encourages blood flow while enhancing coordination. Leg lifts can also be performed while standing and holding on to a chair, which helps seniors increase their balance.

Even a senior in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s can get the benefits of regular exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Allen elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Pilates

Along with enhancing coordination, Pilates increases lung function and circulation. The exercises also strengthen bones and increase joint flexibility. The practice involves six principles. Seniors must concentrate on their starting positions and the slow, smooth movements. Coordinated breathing provides the body with oxygen while expelling carbon dioxide. Pilates movements originate in the core or center, which enhances balance and posture, and they must be performed with precision to gain the most benefits. Each movement must be made slowly and flow from one position to another.

Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact way to gain muscle strength and boost balance and coordination. The water provides sufficient resistance to strengthen the musculoskeletal system without stressing the weight-bearing joints. The activity also boosts cardiovascular fitness and circulation, providing the optimal blood flow needed to nourish nerve cells.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Allen respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Tai Chi

The focused breathing and fluid movements performed during a tai chi session enhance balance and coordination. As such, the practice is one of the most highly recommended activities for seniors with Parkinson’s. The techniques used also strengthen the arms, legs, and reflexes while increasing range of motion.

Walking

The simple act of walking offers much to increase balance and coordination while benefiting the cardiovascular system. By walking, seniors increase their lower body strength and gait patterns. The longer someone walks, the greater the benefits realized.

Seniors with Parkinson’s who need help exercising safely can benefit from the help of trained professional caregivers. Elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 548-0392.

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