How to Merge Exercise and Alzheimer’s for Best Outcomes

The many advantages of exercise are obvious, but what is not as well-recognized is that exercise for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia, can be especially helpful in many different ways. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of muscle weakness along with other issues that stem from a sedentary lifestyle, can ease the effects of emotional and behavioral changes, and much more. So what’s the best way to combine exercise and Alzheimer’s to reap these benefits for someone you love?

As with anybody who is interested in starting a new exercise regime, a consult with a health care provider is the first step. Incorporate his/her guidance as you try introducing more physical activity into each day for a loved one with dementia, using the following strategies in accordance with each person’s individual abilities and the appropriate stage associated with the disease:

Beginning Stages

Seniors in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can enjoy fairly active and social exercises, such as swimming, golf, dancing, bowling, and walking, even though some level of guidance and oversight may be required. Over time, increased supervision will likely be necessary in later stages of the disease.

Middle to Later Stages

The mid to later stages of Alzheimer’s disease are often associated with increased levels of confusion and anxiety. For that reason, loud or overly exciting activities should be avoided. Repetitious exercises, including indoor bicycling and walking, along with tasks like folding laundry, help to decrease anxiety levels. Activities that do not require the participant to make choices regarding the activity or next steps are usually an appropriate choice for this stage of the disease.

Advanced Stages

During the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, children’s playthings may be well suited for promoting hand-eye coordination. These toys are normally vibrantly colored, easy to hold onto, and are built to stimulate the brain. In addition, stress balls or soft clay-like items can be squeezed to help build strength in the muscles in the hands.

Carolina Hearts Home Care’s caregivers are fully trained and experienced with providing inventive, kind, and thoughtful care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia, and we are always available to help families maximize health and wellbeing for their loved ones. Our team is skilled in helping to successfully manage common challenging behaviors such as aggression, sundowning, wandering and much more, and can provide overnight respite care to allow family caregivers to rest with reassurance that their loved one is secure, safe, and well cared for.

Call us at 1-855-277-2005 to discover more about our expert in-home dementia care, or to request more tips and resources specific to the challenges you are facing. Offering a wide range of care services, such as support with personal care, meal preparation, exercise and Alzheimer’s symptom management, just to name a few, Carolina Hearts Home Care is the trusted choice for family caregivers. As a leading provider of Aberdeen home care, and serving surrounding areas, our care professionals are trained and have the experience needed to help seniors remain safe and thriving in the comfort of home.