Simple Types of Exercises for Senior Stroke Survivors

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Recovering after a stroke depends on the extent of the brain damage and the length of time before a senior begins therapy. When recovering from strokes, seniors must have support from healthcare professionals. Seniors who have had strokes often undergo physical therapy to recover. Exercise enhances muscle tone, flexibility, strength, and range of motion. Over the course of time, pain and stiffness diminish, while balance and coordination increase.

 

Passive Range of Motion 

These techniques involve the use of external force to move an affected limb or body part, as opposed to natural independent movement. The stroke survivor, a caregiver, a physical therapist, or a mechanical device manually extends, flexes, or rotates the affected limb or body part to prevent contractures and maintain flexibility. An example of this type of exercise is bending and straightening the arms and legs at the elbows and knees. Arms are assisted to rotate in a circular motion at the shoulder, and legs are rotated at the hip. 

Stroke survivors can receive help with exercise by hiring trained caregivers. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Fort Lauderdale Assisting Hands Home Care can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

 

Active-Assistive Range of Motion 

Once a stroke survivor regains some strength on the affected side, this type of exercise involves helping a body part function normally. The affected area may demonstrate some movement, but it’s too weak to fully function independently.

The type of home care Fort Lauderdale seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

 

Active Range of Motion 

In these types of exercises, the senior is able to move a body part through its normal range of motion without any form of assistance. 

Here are a few forms of exercise that can boost stroke recovery in aging adults:

  • Resistance or strength training – These exercises involve putting a limb or other body part through its full range of motion to strengthen the affected muscles, with resistance provided by elasticized bands, dumbbells, exercise machines, putty, or tubing. Examples include shoulder abduction, adduction and flexion, elbow flexion, external rotation of the shoulder and elbows, and overhead presses.
  • Stretching – Following a stroke, the muscles on the affected side often tighten or lose tone. Stretching prevents joints from stiffening and encourages the muscles to return to a relaxed state.
  • Balance – Sitting and standing can be difficult for stroke survivors due to weakened core, limb, and trunk muscles. Balance exercises are designed to strengthen the affected muscles so the senior can regain normal balance as well as the ability to walk. Examples of balance exercises include shifting body weight from side to side while standing and shifting back and forth while sitting.
  • Weight bearing – These types of exercises are designed to return normal muscle tone in affected limbs and prevent bone loss. Examples include standing with an assistive device on either side or standing while positioned between parallel bars.
  • Scapula mobilizing – This form of exercise could strengthen the tone of shoulder blade muscles. Without these exercises, a senior may be unable to have full range of motion in the arm.

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need compassionate professional care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today.