Exercise for your Dementing Loved Ones
A new exercise program has been started in the Alzheimer
home my Mother is in...It is a wonderful idea and I am
surprised that this isn't a normal thing in more home's.
We all know exercise, no matter how little one may be able
to do, is a good thing.
It gets oxygen to your body, gets your
blood flowing, which helps keep you warm. So many of the
elderly are always cold because they either sit in a wheelchair
or are sleeping, in bed or in a recliner.
This program includes a walk around the inside of the building
as a group thing, everyone is encouraged to do this, and in the
beginning they couldn't really go far, but in the month it has
been practiced they can now walk it 3-4 times. Yes they get tired,
and thirsty and at first a bit of complaining, but now look forward
to it, when they are re-minded, of course. They do remember
when a routine is constant.
They also have games they play and there is much laughter these
days, and it is so nice. There is a beanbag toss game which they
throw the bags into these netted holes on a board, which is tilted
and is on the floor. Each hole has a score on it and you would
be surprised how they keep score...at first they were reluctant
to participate, but not so anymore.
They sit in chairs in a circle and the caregivers move the board
around in front of each resident and they have 4 bags to throw.
It gets them moving their arms and they love it.
Another fun game is with a large colorful like parachute material
which is in a giant circle with a varity of bright colors and they all
hang on and make it move up and down and they all squeal with glee.
They also have a day where they play dance music and even in a
wheel chair they can dance, at least the upper part can be moving
around. They dance as couples with a caregiver,or a family member.
You should see them do the fast dances, they can move better then
I can, and the singing is wonderful. The men and the women look so
happy when they are on the dance floor.
Another fun dance routine is they sit in a chair and wear these tap
shoes, which they stomp their feet to the music and get so excited.
It is a joy to behold.
They have seen much improvement, in their sleeping habits, their
eating habits and their attitudes in general are better. They don't
seem to be complaining they are cold all the time, although there are,
handmade or fleece, many,many small cuddly blankets always on
hand to wrap around them.
The home is looking into many more new fun things to come, they
already have Bingo, making dog biscuits, they have a group called
"Paws" that brings in their specially trained dogs for the residents
to pet and feel and hold, they have "the Fiddlers come in once a
month to play the fiddles for them, and a piano players comes every
week for their entertainment.
I could go on and on but the point is exercise and how these elderly
people are enjoying themselves, which is as it should be, and how
much better they are feeling, about everything...God Bless these
Caregivers that have such big, generous hearts as well as the
director that is in charge of this people and she is the one that
actually started this program...
So one of the things to look for when trying to place your loved
one in a home is what do they do to make things better and safe
for these dementing wonderful people, who can't help they have this
terrible disease...It hits the young too, is not just for the older person...