How Can Exercise Help an Aging Adult with Alzheimer’s?

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Exercising is an activity that offers many various benefits, including opportunities for social interaction, enhanced mood, better sleep at night, and a lower risk of falls and injuries. However, in addition to the previously mentioned benefits, multiple scientific studies have confirmed physical exercise can ward off the development of Alzheimer’s and also offer a variety of benefits to those who have already been diagnosed with the disease.

Exercising During the Early & Middle Stages of Alzheimer’s

A 2013 study published in the International Journal of General Medicine found physical activity boosted cognitive health in those with mild to moderate dementia. The findings validate a University of Maryland study that found after completing an exercise program, mildly impaired individuals performed better on memory tests while increasing their fitness levels by around 10 percent. MRIs taken after the program showed a significant increase in brain activity. Experts recommend individuals with mild to moderate symptoms get 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days each week.

Exercise isn’t only helpful in boosting cognitive health in seniors with Alzheimer’s but also in reducing the risk of other diseases. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Woodbridge, CT, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Benefits of Exercise in Late-Stage Alzheimer’s

Exercising in the later stages of Alzheimer’s helps seniors maintain flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. Changing seats frequently, sitting unsupported, and walking from room to room are all simple exercises that can aid those in the late stages of dementia. Physical activity also offers a beneficial distraction from aches, pains, and worries. Because it’s easier to care for someone who is as physically fit as can be reasonably expected, the overall level of care is likely to be better as well.

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 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.

Suggested Exercises for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

While your loved one may have gone to the gym frequently in his or her younger days, you should make sure the exercise routine is tailored to fit his or her current level of health. Walking is an exercise most seniors can enjoy, and you should encourage your loved one to go at his or her own pace. The idea here isn’t for your parent to be able to run a marathon but to release tension and energy. Swimming and stretching are additional ideas for getting your loved one started with exercise.

Exercise programs needn’t be structured. Doing housework and gardening also offer opportunities for exercising. Whether aging adults are exercising while seated or dancing along to favorite music, physical activity helps seniors with Alzheimer’s at any stage of the disease enjoy a better level of fitness, a higher degree of cognitive function, and a greater feeling of confidence.

Incorporating Socialization & Nature 

Seniors get more benefit from exercise when it’s combined with other elements shown to boost mood and reduce agitation. For example, taking a stroll through a park or garden can allow your loved one to enjoy spending time in nature. Alternatively, your loved one can do yoga poses with a caregiver or join in a group walk for seniors so he or she can enjoy a bit of social activity. Having new experiences during workouts can help your loved one relieve boredom and experience more positive feelings.

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Woodbridge seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Call Home Care Assistance today at (203) 444-8575 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

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