Once stabilized by their medical teams, senior stroke survivors commonly begin therapy. After stroke survivors are discharged from the hospital, therapeutic exercises must continue to encourage recovery. Stroke survivors must take advantage of the brain’s plasticity by performing exercises at home.
Exercising the legs is vital for stroke survivors who need to regain strength and control of an affected leg. By strengthening the legs, seniors are better able to walk and maintain their balance. Lower body strength is necessary to prevent falls, which is a risk for impaired seniors. Simple exercises may be done while seated. Seniors can perform knee extensions and marching motions, and dorsiflexion movements aid in correcting foot drop.
Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Fort Myers home care service professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
By strengthening the core muscles, seniors enhance balance and stability when walking, which also reduces fall risk. The exercises are accomplished while sitting or lying down until the stroke survivor becomes stronger. Exercises to enhance core muscles include sitting trunk twists. Lying knee-to-chest exercises require tightening abdominal muscles each time the leg is brought to the chest. Toe tap core strengthening exercises also require lying down. Lifting one leg at a time and tapping the toe in the air requires simultaneously tightening the abdominal muscles.
These types of exercises are designed to regain control and use of an affected arm. Eventually, strength increases along with independent movement. This way, stroke survivors are better able to accomplish simple activities of daily living that include getting dressed, bathing, and using the toilet. Flexibility is regained by using the unaffected arm to stretch the arm, hand, and fingers of the affected arm. Grasping a bottle or other object with both hands and moving it in large circles on a tabletop is another means of gaining strength and mobility in an affected arm. Once some strength and control returns, performing tabletop bicep curls without a weight and then with a weight increases muscle mass and strength in the affected arm.
A professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of information and support for a senior recovering from a stroke. The type of senior care seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
Fine Motor Skill Exercises
After warming up the muscles, connective tissues, and joints in their hands, stroke survivors need to practice simple exercises to increase their fine motor skills. The exercises might include something as basic as spinning a pencil on a table. They might touch their thumbs individually to each of their fingers. Picking up coins or other small items off a table is another common technique. Putting a rubber band around the thumb and individual fingers of the affected hand and working to stretch the band is another strength-gaining trick.
The muscles in the face and tongue must be exercised to regain enough control to create words. The task begins by simply sticking the tongue out, holding the position, and bringing the tongue back into the mouth. Another technique involves sticking the tongue out and moving it from side to side and up and down. Seniors should exercise their facial muscles with actions such as puckering their lips, saying the letters of the alphabet, and then graduating to sounding out simple words and sentences.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Fort Myers, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (239) 449-4701 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.