Participating in Exercise Activities in New York City

Young female nurse assisting an elderly woman to climb down the stairsKeeping your loved one active every day is crucial to maintaining their overall health and independence. It can be rather daunting to find an activity that someone suffering with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia to not only find interesting but also functional. Just like with diet, variety is key to health. Consider finding activities that aren’t just physical, but also meet their mental, spiritual, social, and emotional needs. And remember, you don’t need a good memory to enjoy yourself in the moment and find things that provide happiness.
When choosing the right activity or form of exercise it is important to consider the individual preferences and previous hobbies. For example, not all exercise needs to be walking. In NYC there are a number of interesting classes (which provide the added benefit of social interaction). One key thing to note is modifying any activity to meet the personal limitations of your loved one. Paying close attention if an activity you thought was perfect for them is actually causing them frustration or anxiety.

  • Tai Chi: a gentle form of martial arts that combines smooth and easy movements with meditation
  • Gardening
  • Art (either a class or at home)
  • Doing Puzzles
  • Playing cards
  • Walking Dog
  • Dancing (either a class or at home)
  • Modified Yoga or Chair Yoga
  • Stationary bike at home
  • Golf
  • Gentle Swim aerobics
  • Fishing
  • Flower arranging

A few benefits of regular exercise helps:

  • Maintain motor skills
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps prevent falls because of the strengthened muscles
  • Relieve stress
  • Boost mood
  • Strengthen heart
  • Low blood pressure
  • Relieves constipation
  • Be more alert during the day

Before starting any routine keep in mind to start slow. Just 5 minutes may be enough at the beginning especially if it’s a new activity. And don’t forget motivation is a huge indicator of future success. If they find the activity boring, chances are slim they’ll keep it up for long.

Keep a close eye on them and always make sure they are hydrated. Stop any activity if they become dizzy or feel faint. It’s best to always check with a doctor before starting any activity.

If for some reason your loved one is reluctant to try new things, it often helps if you do them first. And see if they can mirror you, and don’t forget to laugh at yourself too. The goal is not to take yourself too seriously and encourage exploration and self-esteem. When we accomplish the smallest tasks it boosts how we see ourselves. And always encourage baby steps, a little each day can be provide a big impact over time. Also keep in mind that no two days are alike. What was easy yesterday could be more difficult the next. Embrace the idea and your loved one will too. It’s okay to start over each day.

 
We Have Special Skills for Helping Patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia:

Communicating with Alzheimer’s clients
Preventing wandering
Ensuring healthy and adequate meals
Participating in exercise
Engaging in activities
Monitoring for a safe home environment

Our caregivers are available to assist with personal care, household services, respite and/or companion care while bringing exceptional compassion, skills and knowledge about Alzheimer’s and dementia to our clients.

 

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