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Can Your Elderly Loved One Still Exercise If She Has Arthritis?

Elder Care in Norwood MA

Many people believe that once they’re diagnosed with arthritis, particularly if it’s in a majority of their joints, they’re done exercising for good. That doesn’t have to be the case, however, and exercise can really help a loved one who has arthritis.

The First Step Is to Talk to Her Doctor

As with any changes you want to make to your loved one’s lifestyle, it’s a good idea to start with a talk with her doctor before starting any exercise programs. This helps your loved one to avoid injury from starting out with the wrong exercise program or starting out too intensely. Once you have the “all clear” from your loved one’s doctor, you can go forward with making a comprehensive plan for her exercise goals.

Go Slowly with Any Exercise Plan

No matter what exercise plan your loved one decides to undertake, the key is to start out slowly. If she tries to rush into a program that is too much, too soon, she runs the risk of causing injury and further pain. The point of exercising is to help improve her quality of life and the pain that she experiences due to arthritis. Contributing to the pain level just runs against that goal.

Lean Toward Low Impact Exercises

Low impact exercises are a fantastic way to go for someone with arthritis, particularly in the lower extremities. Water exercises, such as swimming or water aerobics, are among the best types of low impact exercises because your loved one gets a solid workout with no jarring of the joints. Bicycling and walking are other forms of low impact exercises that your loved one can work into her program with her doctor’s approval.

Strengthening Muscles and Improving Range of Motion

What you’re really looking for when it comes to exercise for a loved one who has arthritis is to improve her range of motion and the strength in her muscles. Both of these goals work toward protecting her joints and supporting them in their day to day movements and activities. Your loved one might find that she enjoys lifting weights, for example, even if that’s never been interesting to her before. The results can help to change her mind, though.

A non-medical caregiver can also help her to stick to her exercise guidelines safely.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073