Sunday, November 1, 2009

Simple Fitness for Senior Citizens!

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

by Pamela Veselinovic

A simple guide to help a beginner activity director or volunteer to introduce fitness routines to a nursing home.

People of all ages need to stay physically active. Senior citizens are no exception. Many nursing homes have Activities Director’s to coordinate exercise programs, but some do not. Most nursing homes appreciate volunteer help, and would be happy to have help with senior exercise. A visit to your nearest nursing home should yield a happy invitation to join in on the fun. Ask for the Activities Director, and fill out a background check and application. Before you know it, you could be helping seniors stay active!

How do I begin?
Start by getting to know the participants. People of all ages love to talk, and to be asked about themselves. Be friendly, upbeat and attentive. To draw attention to planned activities, post them on an announcements board, where all residents pass by and can see them. Make announcements thirty minutes prior to your class, so that everybody is ready when its time to start. Have volunteers go to individual rooms and encourage participation.

Your first goal should be to get to know your participants. If someone is hard of hearing, you might want to place him or her in front of the group. If one is blind, or can only move certain body parts; you’ll want to know so you can arrange an assistant to help them. Many, if not most of your students will be wheelchair bound. Here are tips to keep in mind when mingling with wheelchair users:

Never lean on their chair.
Always ask the resident if they would like to be pushed.
Never start pushing their wheelchair without their knowledge or permission.
Kneel on the floor or sit in a chair beside the person, when speaking to him.
As with anyone, make eye contact at all times.
Once you have met with the participants, you can start your exercise routines.
Make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water for the residents.
Arrange them in a semi-circle, so that everyone can see and hear you clearly.
Remind the residents to breathe steadily and regularly during exercise, and to stop if they feel fatigued.
Remember to count out each exercise, so that the participants know what they have accomplished.

Begin with "pumping iron" nursing home style.
This can be done with any canned vegetable from the kitchen! Start at a comfortable weight, whether it’s a single serve can of peas or a 16-ounce can of beans, and work your way up to heavier weights. For members that cannot grasp items well, slip the can into an ordinary sock, which has been knotted at the open end. The sock provides an easy grip texture.

Breathing and posture exercise:
Making sure your students are sitting up straight, have them take deep breaths, while raising and lowering their arms which each breathe. Do this three times.

Facial Exercises:
come back tomorrow for more Simple Fitness for Senior Citizens

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