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What is the best exercise program for nursing home residents?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2022 | Elderly Injury

Elderly residents in nursing homes often lead more sedentary lifestyles due to mobility challenges and environmental restrictions. This puts them at greater risk of injury due to poor muscle tone, limited mobility and weaker bone structures.

The right nursing home exercise program can make a difference.

Mobility encouragement for cardiovascular health

Walking is low-impact and great for the cardiovascular system, core muscles and overall body. Encourage residents to walk as much as possible for optimal benefit. Implement a walking path through the facility similar to what “mall walkers” rely on to help encourage participation. For those who struggle, encourage and reward even minimal progress, such as walking to the dining hall.

Resistance training for muscle tone

Resistance bands are a great investment because they are not strenuous and do not put residents at risk for impact injuries the way some aerobics could. Resistance band training is even possible from a seated position for those residents who are not as ambulatory. You may even find that those residents become more mobile over time with strength and resistance training to tone their muscles.

Daily stretching sessions for the range of motion

Stretching is important for aging adults whose bodies are often not as limber as they once were. Frequent stretching improves range of motion and muscle tone, so offer sessions a couple of times a day and encourage participation.

The right exercise program can help improve overall fitness and quality of life in any nursing home. When facilities invest in the well-being of the residents, it reduces the risk of elderly injuries, neglect and depression.