Nursing homes provide a valuable service to older members of the community who can no longer take care of themselves. Most of these homes provide opportunities for residents to stay in a social life through activities and programs conducted by residence activity coordinators. Many homes take these activities one step further and include exercise programs to help residents stay physically fit and healthy.
The availability of the exercise program may vary depending on the facility. For example, for facilities with a swimming pool, water aerobics are a popular choice for senior exercise programs. Other facilities can provide exercise classes specifically aimed at seniors that can even be performed while sitting or even from a wheelchair. Some facilities may have gyms with equipment ranging from treadmills to strength training machines.
Appropriate for age
When you develop an exercise program for seniors in a retirement home such as a nursing home, it is important to keep in mind the equipment and programs that are tailored to the specific concerns of the elderly. For example, when designing a room for exercise equipment, machines such as static stationary bicycles and elliptical machines can be good options to reduce stress on the knees and ankles. Aquatic aerobics provide the same type of benefit using the natural buoyancy of water not only as resistance to strengthen the muscles but also to reduce how much weight and pressure is placed on the joints.
As the body ages, muscle tissue and bones go down naturally, which is what makes older people often more fragile and more prone to injury than young people. However, regular strength training exercises such as aerobic exercises can help strengthen the muscles while strengthening the bones at the same time. Exercises for those over 65 can also help avoid diseases related to high blood pressure, heart problems, arthritis and diabetes, suggests the American Academy of Family Physicians.
To get full benefits from exercise in your nursing home or retirement facility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends introducing two and a half hours of aerobic exercise into the weekly routine of those who have over 65 yearsThe CDC also recommends at least two days a week of strength training activities in that time period.
When you choose to develop or take part in an exercise program in a nursing home, you should consider the possible dangers. First, it is important to understand that older people are more fragile, so it may be more likely to dislocate a muscle or even break a bone in a slip or fall during exercise. The general health of the individual exercising should be taken seriously, as exercise can be beneficial for problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease but can also cause problems if older people overdo it. It is important to have a medical staff, or a personal doctor in the nursing home, involved in the exercise program to ensure health and safety.