In addition to Independent Living and Assisted Living, Sagora Senior Living is proud to offer Memory Care living options for our residents. As we understand that Memory Care can be a sensitive subject and perhaps confusing and overwhelming for family members, we have launched a blog series devoted entirely to Memory Care. Our hope is that we provide educational resources, answers to frequently asked questions and support as you navigate your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.
For this week’s feature, we’d like to focus on how exercise benefits those with Alzheimer’s and how you can implement exercise with your loved one at home. We all know that physical activity is important for our overall health but for those with an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis, exercise can help to alleviate some of the symptoms that come with the disease.
Regular exercise may help to:
- Alleviate symptoms of depression. Physical exercise releases endorphins and serotonin which help to naturally elevate the mood and overall sense of well-being.
- Prevent restlessness and wandering. When energy is used during exercise, those with Alzheimer’s are less likely to roam and wander as these are actions that they usually take when bored or restless.
- Aid in balance and coordination. Physical exercise can improve balance by strengthening the muscles in the legs, hips, torso, and spine that enable an erect, upright posture.
- Improve sleep quality. By using energy throughout the day during physical activity, people are much more likely to sleep restfully throughout the night.
- Provide opportunity for social interaction. If you join a loved one for a walk or if they attend one of our fitness classes, they will benefit from the simple joy of being around others.
To implement exercise at home, we recommend the following methods. We use many of these in our Memory Care communities. Remember to cater to your loved one’s fitness level and never to push too hard if an exercise seems too challenging.
- Stationary biking
- Lift light hand weights – even grocery cans will work!
- Use soft rubber exercise balls or balloons for stretching or throwing back and forth.
- Utilize exercise bands – you can get these at any fitness store. You can use them for low intensity resistance training to strengthen muscles.
- Never underestimate simple everyday tasks around the home. Gardening and cleaning are enough to reap some of the benefits listed above.
At our Memory Care communities, we implement fitness in our residents’ daily lives. Looking to learn more or to contact one of our Memory Care experts?