4 Coordination-Boosting Exercises for Seniors with Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s disease causes progressive damage to the nerve cells that produce dopamine in specific areas of the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that relays messages between the muscles and nerve cells. Disrupting this process can cause a loss of coordination and inhibit movement. However, seniors with Parkinson’s can add the coordination exercises mentioned below to increase their balance and gait and stave off severe walking disabilities.

1. Yoga

One of the top benefits of yoga is that it boosts confidence in older adults with Parkinson’s, which leads to a better quality of life and more social and physical activity. Typical practices of yoga include chanting, deep breathing, reaching and reclining, and rhythm awareness. These actions strengthen the core, posture, gait, and balance. As a result, older adults can change positions with more ease, allowing them to manage many of the coordination problems they experience due to the disease, such as having difficulty getting in and out of bed or moving around at a slow pace.

2. Water Aerobics

Exercising in the water can alleviate joint issues, and the movements can be therapeutic for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s. While doing aerobics in the water, your aging loved one can increase his or her functional mobility and balance and reduce motor dysfunction, which is common in older adults with this disease. Make sure the water is warm when your loved one exercises because the warmth can reduce stiffness, pain, and rigidity. The buoyancy of the water provides postural support, giving your loved one the ability to perform a variety of strengthening exercises. Your loved one can use those same techniques in his or her daily life when walking.

Even seniors in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s can get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Coral Gables senior care 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.

3. Walking

Regular strolls around the neighborhood, a walk on the treadmill, and walking in place can increase coordination and lead to fewer falls. Walking can help your loved one use dopamine more efficiently because it strengthens areas of the brain where dopamine signals are received, which can reduce the amount of motor and non-motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. While walking, the body distributes weight evenly, which also prevents your loved one from tumbling or falling down the stairs and experiencing a severe injury.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Coral Gables respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

4. Wall Push-Ups

To complete this exercise, all seniors with Parkinson’s need is a wall and determination. They need to plant their palms flatly on the wall and push back and forth. Doing wall push-ups can increase motor coordination and posture. The best way for wall push-ups to have a significant impact is to do the exercises consistently. The number of wall push-ups older adults do isn’t as important as the effort that goes into working out. Keep this in mind and allow your loved one to begin at a slow pace and work up to more push-ups over time.

Seniors with Parkinson’s who need assistance with exercising safely can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at 1 (305) 964-5636 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.