Many elderly people have tightness throughout their bodies. Your elderly loved one might have tightness in their neck, shoulders, arms, upper back, lower back, or even their legs. One of the best ways to relieve this tightness is through stretching. There are numerous stretches that can help your elderly loved one to improve their flexibility.
Front Hip Stretch
One of the best stretches for improving flexibility is the front hip stretch. If your elderly loved one sits a lot throughout the day, this stretch can relieve the tension in their hips. To do this exercise your elderly loved one needs to do the following:
- Sit on top of a fitness ball
- Straighten out their right leg behind their body (stabilizing their weight by pushing their toes on the floor with the right heel raised)
- Rest their hands on their left knee (with the arms pushing their upper body backward a bit)
Your elderly loved one should be able to feel this stretch in front of their right hip. They should do this same thing for their left hip. Each stretch should be held between 15-30 seconds. For the first few times, your loved one might need help from you or a home care provider to do this stretch.
Standard Shoulder Stretch
Another way for your elderly loved one to improve their flexibility is through the standard shoulder stretch. If your elderly loved one has tight shoulders from sleeping in an odd position or for any other reason, this stretch can help. To do this stretch, your elderly loved one will need to do the following:
- Stand by standing straight up
- Cross their right arm over their chest
- Hook their left forearm around their elbow (use that leverage to slightly pull their right arm toward their chest)
This should stretch their shoulder. Your elderly loved one should hold this stretch between 10-15 seconds and then do it for the other shoulder.
Your elderly loved one could improve their flexibility by doing the toe touch, as well. This can help to loosen up their back. To do this stretch, your elderly loved one will need to do the following:
- Stand with their feet apart hip-width
- Hinge the hips and stretch their arms toward their toes (keep their back as flat as they can)
- When at fullest extension, grab their opposite elbow and dangle downward
After doing this stretch, your elderly loved one should feel less tension in their back. They should be able to get up and down easier throughout the day. It is important to note that if your elderly loved one has balance issues, you or a home care provider should help them with this stretch.
These are some of the best stretches for improving flexibility. You can help your elderly loved one to set up an exercise plan that involves these stretches. They should do these stretches at least once a day.