Seniors who are bedbound still need regular exercise to prevent muscle deterioration, or atrophy. Gentle exercise may also reduce complications that can result from limited movement. Whether your senior loved one is bedridden because of a long illness or a condition that makes it difficult to get out of bed, there are some exercises he or she can do to increase circulation and keep his or her muscles stimulated. As with any new exercise program, make sure to speak with your parent’s physician first.
1. Hand & Finger Stretches
Hand- and finger-stretching exercises can help bedbound seniors keep the muscles in their fingers and hands limber. Such exercises may also increase dexterity so seniors can eat without as much assistance or press buttons on remote controls and phones.
2. Arm Lifts
Arm lifts can be performed independently or with the aid of a caregiver. A variation is to place the upper arm on the bed and lift at the elbow. Arm lifts are a basic muscle-strengthening exercise that can help bedbound seniors maintain the ability to hold and move light objects.
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3. Leg Lifts
Performing leg lifts a few times a day can prevent pressure sores and increase circulation. For seniors who are only temporarily bedridden, leg lifts may reduce the initial unsteadiness that often occurs when they try to walk again after being in bed for a long time.
4. Side Rolls
Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, can be minimized with side rolls. As with bed turning, side rolls (slowly turning the body from one side to the other) will need to be performed several times throughout the day to promote healthy circulation and prevent skin irritation.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Rhode Island Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
5. Ankle Flexes & Pushes
Range of motion can be maintained or increased in the legs of bedbound seniors with periodic ankle flexes and pushes. Such exercises can help with circulation in the feet, which is especially important for bedridden seniors with conditions like diabetes that often include some degree of foot pain.
Whether your loved one is bedbound temporarily or due to a chronic illness, he or she could likely use additional support with exercises and everyday tasks like personal grooming. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care service. Rhode Island families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (401) 284-0979 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.