Arthritis affects approximately fifty-two million American adults. If your elderly loved one is among the seniors affected by arthritis, he or she may be looking for ways to relieve some of the joint stiffness and discomfort caused by this common condition. Read on for five stretches to share with your loved one.
1. Chest & Arm Stretch
To enhance posture, stand comfortably and clasp the hands behind the back. Keeping the back as straight as possible, use the back and shoulder muscles to pull the shoulder blades together, and then roll the shoulders forward and back. This move can relieve upper-back stiffness and discomfort and may lead to increased shoulder flexibility.
Arthritis can make it difficult for seniors to perform daily activities. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care service. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Side Bends
To perform side bends, stand straight with the feet shoulder-width apart and clasp the hands above the head. Roll the shoulders back to stretch the muscles in the arms, sides, and neck. After 30 seconds, lean to the left side, stand straight, and then lean to the right side. This exercise helps seniors maintain spine flexibility and reduce arthritis pain in the lower back and shoulders.
3. Hamstring Stretch
To strengthen the hips and knees and relieve some stiffness in those joints, sit in a chair and slowly raise one leg until it’s pointing straight ahead. If necessary, lift the leg with the arms to support it. Hold the leg in place for several seconds, then repeat on the other side. For seniors who still find this stretch challenging, caregivers can lift or hold their legs for them instead.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help with doing stretches and other types of exercise. Roseville in-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.
Yoga has a number of health benefits, including greater mobility, increased flexibility, and better mood. While many yoga stretches can help seniors with arthritis, the chair stretch is particularly good for stiff knees and hips. Performed by placing the feet shoulder-width apart, lifting the arms over the head, and bending slightly at the knees as if sitting down in a chair, this stretch also strengthens the legs and increases balance. If this stretch is too difficult, try bending at the knees with arms lowered.
5. Tai Chi
A gentle form of stretching and exercise that doesn’t cause joint strain, tai chi strengthens the body and increases flexibility when performed consistently. A common tai chi stretch involves doing arm rolls or circles, which loosen the shoulders and back muscles and open the chest cavity to enhance breathing. For the best results, start by standing with the feet shoulder-width apart and swing the arms up overhead, around behind the back, and down again, completing several full circles.
Caring for older adults with arthritis can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Roseville, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. If you need professional care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737.