Seniors who are bedbound still need regular exercise to prevent muscle deterioration, or atrophy. Mild exercise may also reduce complications that can occur from limited movement. Whether your senior loved one is bedridden because of a long illness or a condition that makes it difficult to get out of bed, there are some exercises recommended by El Dorado County senior care agencies that can help improve circulation and keep muscles stimulated. As with any new exercise program, be sure to speak with your aging parent’s physician first.
1. Hand and Finger Stretches
Hand and finger stretching exercises can help bedbound seniors keep muscles in their fingers and hands limber. Such exercises may also improve dexterity so seniors can eat without as much assistance or press buttons on remote controls and phones.
2. Arm Lifts
Arm lifts can be performed solely or with the aid of a part-time or live-in caregiver. A variation is to place the upper arm on the bed and lift at the elbow. Arm lifts are a basic muscle strengthening exercise that can help bedbound seniors maintain the ability to hold and move light objects.
3. Leg Lifts
Performing leg lifts a few times a day can help prevent pressure sores and increase circulation. For seniors who are only temporarily bedridden, leg lifts may reduce the initial unsteadiness that often occurs when trying to walk again after being in bed for a long period of time.
4. Side Rolls
Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, can be minimized with side rolls. As with bed turning, side rolls (slowing turning the body from one side to the other) will need to be performed several times throughout the day to promote healthy circulation and prevent skin irritation.
5. Ankle Flexes and Pushes
Range of motion can be maintained or increased in the legs of bedbound seniors with periodic ankle flexes and pushes. Such exercises can help with circulation in the feet, especially important for bedridden seniors with conditions like diabetes that often include some degree of foot pain.
Whether he or she is bedbound temporarily or due to a chronic illness, your loved one could likely use additional support with exercises and everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and personal grooming. Learn more about El Dorado County respite care and live-in care from a dedicated Care Manager at Home Care Assistance. We offer flexible schedules, 24/7 availability, and no long-term contracts. Please call (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today. We look forward to speaking with you.