Contrary to popular belief, exercise is not only for the young! Even the elderly can benefit from regular exercise, especially bed-bound elderly, who can reduce the risk of pressure ulcers with the help of regular exercise.
If you’re looking for exercises for bed-bound elderly, this guide will not only give you some great ideas for things that seniors can do in bed – we’ll also show you exercises for the elderly that will help them get fit and no longer be bed-bound!
Benefits of Exercise for Bed Ridden Seniors
Regular exercise is important for maintaining good physical and emotional health, especially if a senior is due to health issues or an injury bedridden. Not getting enough exercise could result in the muscles of a bedridden patient atrophying and weakened bones, and not to mention bed sores, all of which can severely hinder their progress and become debilitating problems, which could have been avoided had they exercised on a regular basis.
What are the Best Exercises for Elderly Bed Ridden?
So, what are the best exercises for the elderly who are bedridden? This is a valid question to ask mainly because you cannot expect a bed-bound elderly person to perform the same exercise routines as someone who is younger or is not faced with very limited mobility.
Keeping that in mind, here we are going to break down the top exercises that elderly who are bedridden can use as part of their daily routine to feel healthier and improve their physical, mental and emotional state.
The Palm Stretch
It sounds simple enough, but proper care must be taken in order to get the best results and not end up injuring yourself. To do the palm stretch exercise, you will have to start from the superior limbs. The good news is that the palm stretch exercise is considered to be one of the easiest exercises for the elderly who are bed-bound.
You can start the exercise by first placing one of your hands in front of your body. Then try to extend your fingers. Hold this position for a few seconds then return to the starting point.
While doing this exercise, it is important for the person to make sure their thumb touches each finger several times. This will also ensure that they are holding the position for long enough to feel the stretch.
The Ankle Flex
If that last one was a bit too easy, then why not try the ankle flex. The ankle flex is an exercise that is performed by bedridden elderly specifically to improve their range of motion.
The movements that are performed in this exercise also help with improving blood circulation, which makes it a great exercise for bed-bound elderly folk. Because this exercise is a bit more challenging, it is advised to have a caregiver or another person on hand for assistance.
To get started, the caregiver will have to hold down the ankles of the patient and then bend the foot slightly forward.
The caregiver will then need to hold this position for a few seconds so that the patient can feel the stretch.
The same process must be repeated for the other foot as well. For any bedridden elderly, this exercise is usually mandatory to increase their blood circulation and improve mobility.
The Arm Lift
Next, we have the arm lift. In order to do this exercise, you will first need to lift one of your arms over your head. It is important to make sure you go as high as possible over your head for maximum results.
Then, you should hold this position for a few seconds before slowly bringing your arm back down to the starting position. You will need to repeat the same process for the other hand as well.
This exercise should be repeated a few times for better maintenance of muscle mass in the arms.
The arm lift is a great choice for an exercise for the elderly who are bedridden mainly because it targets the overall strength of the whole arm, while also helping the person gain mobility in the upper body.
The Leg Lift
So, we’ve already gone through the arm lift exercise, which might have seemed like a piece of cake for many bedridden elderly. Now, it’s time for the leg lift exercise.
Just like the arm lift, this exercise is important simply because it is going to help improve the overall leg strength and especially the strength of the inferior limbs.
To start this exercise, you must first raise your leg towards your hip joint. This position must be held for a few seconds before returning to the starting point. The same process should be repeated for the other leg as well.
This exercise can be done a few times a day, depending, of course, on the physical strength of the bed-bound senior.
The Wrist Rotation
The wrist rotation is another favorite of seniors who are bed-bound and looking to stay healthy and recover quicker. The wrist rotation exercise also sounds easy, but special care should be taken by the senior and those who are helping them perform the exercise.
To get started, both your forearm and hand need to be kept in the palm down position. You can either rest your arm on the side of the bed or on your waist. Then you can start to gently rotate your wrists towards the small finger, moving up from the bed.
This simple wrist rotation exercise for bedridden elderly can enhance both mobility and strength in both arms and is another excellent exercise for elderly folk who cannot leave the bed due to an illness or injury.
Once you have completed the exercise in one direction, you can start with the other direction. To get the full effects of this exercise, it is important to make sure that each exercise lasts for up to 15 seconds.
For any bedridden elderly person, performing these quick and easy exercises just a few times a day can help significantly in reducing the risks of developing any nasty sores, and muscle atrophy. Furthermore, it will ensure that the patient is able to keep healthy, both physically and emotionally, which will lead to a quicker recovery.