Recommended exercises for people taking care of an aging loved one

Whether you are in healthcare or taking care of a loved one, many of us are subjected to the demands of caring for the aging population. As we all know, the baby boomers are aging rapidly. This means that someone will have to care for them. Whether you are a trained healthcare professional, or a caring family member, you may find yourself in the situation where you have to assist an individual move, dress, shower or care for themselves. This is no small task. The physical demands placed on healthcare providers (nurses, personal support workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapist etc.) and caregivers alike is like no other. This blog was written for anyone involved in the care of others, whether it be in their profession or in their personal lives.

Maintaining upper and lower body mobility is extremely important if you are helping to care for others. If you are stiff, or unable to get yourself into a safe position, your risk of injury will increase significantly. We have chosen two simple global upper and lower body stretches to help optimize mobility for healthcare professionals and caregivers. Global movements provide better bang for your buck if you are looking to save time on stretches. They will provide general mobility of multiple joints at one time.

While mobility lays the foundation to sound movement, strength cannot be forgotten! We have provided a couple suggestions of global upper and lower body strengthening exercises to help keep you in good form while helping others. These specific exercises will get you moving most of your joints, so that you can develop overall strength.

Here are some suggestions of exercises that we have compiled to help improve the mobility and strength of healthcare providers or caregivers.

Upper Body Mobility
– Wall Dog
– The chest and thoracic spine mobilizer (sidelying Tsp twist)

Lower body mobility
– The hip hinge
– The global hip opener – deep squat at end range

Upper Body Strength
– The push up – narrow arm, wide arm
– The row

Lower body strength
– The squat – conventional and sumo
– The lunge – quad & glute

Remember, the technique is a critical component of performing exercises effectively. Over time, exercises can result in injury if your form is off. If you are unsure of how to safely integrate these exercises into your routine, please comment below. If you are looking for physiotherapy in Mississauga or physiotherapy in Etobicoke, please give us a call or book an appointment online.

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