3 Physiotherapy Exercises to Regain Mobility
This article was written with the help and expertise of Chung Minqi.
As they age, the elderly often experience decreased mobility and strength. Loss of mobility is brought about by lack of physical activity or exercise, while muscle loss is a natural result of ageing.
Seniors who are wheelchair-bound and sit or lie down for the majority of the day could experience a greater decrease in their mobility and strength. However, this can be managed with regular exercises that can be done from a wheelchair.
It is recommended to see a physiotherapist or healthcare professional for an assessment of your elderly’s condition. Once professionally assessed, your physiotherapist or healthcare professional will be able to advise and plan suitable physiotherapy exercises for your elderly.
In the meantime, read on for a general guide on some exercises that can help regain mobility.
1. Strengthening exercises
Exercises that strengthen the upper and lower limbs help prevent potential muscle wastage and maintain the range of motion the limbs are able to move through.
Seated strengthening exercises like chest squeezes, toe taps and captain’s chair (detailed in this article) are recommended for building strength in the arms and legs.
Depending on your elderly’s condition, standing exercises like the following can also be beneficial:
- Sit on a chair with armrests.
- Stand up with the hands on the armrest for support.
- Sit back down.
- Repeat this 10 times with a two-minute break in between.
Aim to do three sets daily. Stop if the senior feels giddy, tired or feels any strain in their thighs.
To increase the intensity, reduce arm support on the initial push from sitting-to-standing position. This can be done by:
- Placing the hands on the lap instead of the arm rest.
- Standing up with the arms crossed.
- Lowering the height of the seat.
- Standing from a soft surface like a carpeted floor.
2. Balancing exercises
Seated balancing exercises are good for maintaining your elderly’s sense of balance and preventing falls. These can include motions where the elderly reach for items beyond their centre of gravity.
For seniors with decreased mobility and balance issues, seated balancing exercises help to increase blood flow, keep the joints active and lubricated, strengthen muscles and build endurance in the upper body.
3. Functional exercises
For wheelchair-bound seniors who move around independently, functional exercises help ensure they are strong enough to propel themselves on the manual wheelchair.
Your physiotherapist or healthcare professional will recommend exercises that focus on strengthening muscles in the arms.
Specific exercises that train your elderly’s wheelchair mobility may also be prescribed. These can include:
- Wheeling themselves around to get used to moving on a wheelchair.
- Moving out of the wheelchair and onto their chair/bed and vice versa.
At Medical Assistance4u
Our team of medically trained staff at Medical Assistance4u can provide you with consultation services to assist you in providing good elderly care and finding the right assistive tool and medical equipment.
We also provide services like installation and repair services, relocation and disposal services for bulky medical equipment, home care services and transport for your wheelchair-bound loved ones.
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