Importance of Exercise for Seniors Receiving Home Nursing Care


As the old saying goes, “a body in motion will stay in motion.” This notion rings accurate on so many levels, and we must do everything possible to stay in good general health so that we can continue to live our best possible lives. As an individual gets older, many people believe that they should slow down and avoid any exercise. This is faulty thinking because individuals, especially seniors, need to stay active by exercising their minds, bodies, and souls. Of course, they can’t train like Olympic athletes, but they should be participating in some mentally stimulating activities (like puzzles and games) and should engage in a healthy exercise program that incorporates aerobic exercise and strength training.

Muscle loss is a common issue in seniors and is typically referred to as age-related sarcopenia or muscle atrophy. Age-related sarcopenia is the reduction of skeletal muscle tissue that occurs when someone gets older. Muscle atrophy occurs when muscles waste away and typically occurs when muscles aren’t used, after a disease or an injury. Both conditions can lead to lower self-esteem, independence and an overall functional decline in health. For instance, someone who has less muscle strength may be more prone to falls and injuries like hip fractures.

Statistics demonstrate that individuals over 65 years of age typically receive more than 300,000 hip fractures a year and women tend to fall more than men. Tai Chi exercises can help reduce these statistics by assisting seniors to gain and maintain their overall strength. For instance, Tai Chi encourages circling hand exercises, weighted-ball exercises, weight-shifting exercising, balance exercises and more.

Another form of exercise that can benefit seniors is light dumbbell exercises. For instance, arm curls strengthen biceps and dumbbells can be used for a wide variety of triceps work. Bodyweight squats work great for increasing the hips and legs, which will drastically decrease the likelihood of a fall by 40 percent. In addition to added levels of strength, these exercises will help to thicken the body’s bone density. Other options include chair yoga and the use of light hand weights.

Experienced home nursing care agencies can help prevent muscle atrophy and age-related sarcopenia.  They can also help seniors recoup from injuries sustained from falls and debilitating illnesses. With a physician’s guidance, home health care professionals can help seniors formulate a workable exercise plan that includes aerobics and strength building. One organization that epitomizes the notion of exceptional home nursing care is the Nurses Guild. At the Nurses Guild, their primary goal is to help seniors maintain their independence. Additionally, their trained professionals at the Nurses Guild can help your senior implement a program that will slow down muscle loss and maintain overall strength and vitality.