The movement improves the quality of life in the elderly
We spread the benefits of physical exercise to improve the health of all people, because adapting the type of exercise and parameters can be made to be beneficial for people of all ages and conditions.
In the case of older adults with multiple pathologies, such as people who use institutions such as nursing homes or day care units, physical limitations are the order of the day; However, physical exercise remains its great ally for improving the quality of life.
In the case of elderly people , with problems such as arthrosis, chronic pain, various pathologies, various medications … We must keep in mind that physical exercise is a valid, necessary, recommended treatment, and is the first option in many cases to achieve Improvements (not a luxury, not an “extra” option).
- Physical exercise helps with osteoarticular problems such as osteoarthritis.
- It improves the capacity of movement and the autonomy.
- It helps effectively in acute problems such as low back pain.
- Reduces chronic pain of different types.
- Reduces the risk of falls. In case of a fall, the consequences are lower and survival is better.
- Improve self-concept, self-esteem, power social relationships …
- Helps maintain mental capacities.
What type of exercise is beneficial for older people?
In the case we discuss (older adults with limitations / health problems) the exercise must be adapted, and performed by professionals (physiotherapists). The beginning will be the passive exercise , if the person can not collaborate, or assisted passive (with some collaboration), for example, if the person is covered by an illness or injury.
It must be taken into account that immobility is very harmful to the elderly. Within a few days, or weeks of immobility, the loss of strength and ability to move are very evident. That is why exercise should be precocious and frequent.
In case of health problems (diabetes, cardiovascular problems, osteoarthritis, chronic pain …). The exercise will have to be adapted, but it should include active guidelines. In addition to walking, exercises such as static cycling and other aerobic activities are useful for improving cardiovascular function and also work strength, mobility, coordination …
The strength exercises have proven useful to improve the quality of life of older adults. I invite you to recall this article and watch the video showing some benefits of strength training in institutionalized older adults in a residential center.
The therapeutic activity in swimming pool can be very useful for people with mobility problems. Also in recovery of injuries or operations of hip or knee, for progressive training of the march.
Exercises such as dancing are also used to work on different aspects at once: self-esteem, social interaction and work balance, coordination and other skills that reduce the risk of falling.
In short, older people, even if they have physical, cognitive problems, their organic health … They are a sector that benefits greatly from an adapted physical exercise program.
I repeat: it is not a luxury or an extra. Exercise is a treatment of choice to improve or reduce the impact of various problems that affect these populations that are in residential centers, so it should always be integrated into the rest of the treatments that these people receive.