The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors With Alzheimer’s

senior woman exercising outdoors

Use these tips for exercise for seniors with Alzheimer’s to encourage physical activity throughout the phases of the disease.

The numerous benefits of exercise are clear, but what isn’t as well known is that exercise for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia can be particularly helpful in various ways. It can help reduce the risk for muscle weakness as well as other problems that arise from a sedentary lifestyle, can lessen the effects of psychological and behavioral changes, and much more.

As with anyone who is thinking about starting a new exercise regime, a doctor should first be consulted. After that, try introducing more physical activity into each day for a senior loved one with dementia, implementing the following strategies in accordance with each individual’s capabilities and the appropriate stage associated with the disease:

Early Stages

Older adults in the first stages of Alzheimer’s can enjoy relatively active and social exercises, including things like bowling, dancing, swimming, golf, and walking, although some level of guidance and oversight may be needed. In time, enhanced supervision will probably be required as the disease progresses.

Middle to Later Stages

The middle to later phases of Alzheimer’s disease are often associated with heightened levels of confusion and anxiety. For that reason, loud or overly exciting activities ought to be avoided. Repetitious exercises, like indoor bicycling and walking, and tasks like folding laundry, help to lessen anxiety levels as the older adult does not need to make any decisions related to the activity or try to recall what to do next.

Advanced Stages

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

Harmony Home Health & Hospice in Provo and the nearby areas offers caregivers who are extensively trained and experienced in inventive, kind, and thoughtful care for individuals, and we are always on hand to help families enhance wellness for the seniors they love.

Call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to learn more about our expert in-home health care, or to request more tips and resources specific to the challenges you are facing. We’re pleased to offer home health and hospice in Provo and surrounding areas that helps keep older adults with dementia safe at home when recovering after a hospital stay.