As we age, it becomes increasingly important to keep our bodies in good shape. Being physically active is already a challenge for most people, and it is especially so for older bedbound individuals where even the simplest movement can be extremely taxing on the body. If you have a family member who feels this way, here are a few exercises to keep them fit.
Importance of Exercise for Bedbound Loved Ones
Those who are bedridden need to try their best to exercise so to prevent serious risks associated with being restricted to a bed for extended periods. Muscle shortening, atrophy, and bedsores are extremely common conditions among bedridden patients. They can lead to infections, extreme discomfort, and problems that may delay or prevent recovery from diseases, leading to a lower overall quality of life for the individual. To preserve muscle and reduce the risk of further disease or debilitation, physical activity should be included to the best of a patient’s ability.
Exercises for Bedbound Loved Ones
Before starting on the following simple exercises, it is recommended to speak to your loved ones’ doctor to ensure you select the right exercises for their needs. A physical therapist can also create individualized home exercise programs for them and show you how to help.
- Sit-ups – Lay the back flat on the mattress without pillows and tuck the chin into the chest or use the hands to support the base of the neck. Next, squeeze the abdominal muscles and slowly sit up without using the hands.
- Leg lifts – Lay the back flat on the mattress without pillows. Extend the legs. Next, slowly lift the feet off the bed and towards the midline of the body so the feet are straight above the hips.
- Hip thrusts – Lay the back flat on the mattress without pillows. Place the feet flat on the mattress so it’s close to the buttocks and bend the knees. Squeeze the abdominal muscles and slowly press the hips up toward the ceiling and hold for about 10 seconds.
These steps are to be repeated depending on one’s ability and health condition.
Safety Considerations during Exercises for Bedbound Loved Ones
Everyone has varying levels of physical ability. Knowing the limitations of the body is important to prevent injury during exercise. While your loved ones are exercising, consider being present to cheer them on and also ensure their well-being. Most importantly, your loved ones should never do any exercise that causes pain or discomfort. In this case, listening to the body is key, and exercise is not meant to hurt. Always ensure your loved ones start the activity at a lower intensity and then work towards more difficult steps. Remember – anything is better than nothing when done smartly and safely.
Why Choose Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg?
An active lifestyle can significantly improve the overall well-being of an older individual. At Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg, we offer a safe and supportive community that encourages your loved ones to be physically and mentally active with like-minded individuals.
If you have any inquiries about our range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us or call 610.477.3936 today.