Flexibility exercises and stretching are really beneficial for all seniors, because they can decrease muscle pain, help improve posture and even take away some arthritis pain. If you're an at-home senior care provider, do these three stretches with your client to help improve their flexibility and overall well-being:
1. Calf stretch
Stand facing a wall with your arms straightened in front of you and your hands touching the wall at shoulder height. Then, pull your right foot behind you, keeping it on the ground. With toes pointing forward, and right heel on the ground, lean forward until you feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Hold the stretch for around a minute, then switch legs and repeat on the other side.
2. Shoulder and upper back stretch
Sit in a chair with your back straight and your palms together in front of your chest. Keeping your hands together, lift them up toward the ceiling, then move your arms away from each other in opposite arcs. Your circle should end with your hands back together in front of your chest. Repeat 10 times to stretch your shoulders and improve your range of motion.
3. Back stretch
Sit upright on the edge of a sturdy chair with armrests, with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Turn your upper body (from the waist up) as far as you can to the left, using the armrest to help. Hold for 30 seconds, then return to the front and repeat to the right. Do the stretch three to five times.