Each year, around 300,000 Americans fall and fracture a hip. As you age, the risk of osteoporosis increases, adding to the possibility that you will cause damage if you fall. And, women have a higher risk of experiencing thinning bones and osteoporosis.
Your mom doesn’t even need to fall to realize she’s having problems with her hips. Arthritis is common as you age. If it affects the hip joints, the chronic pain is unbearable and can hinder mobility.
Through exercise, it’s possible to strengthen the hip joints and lower the risk of a hip fracture. The goal is to get your mom motivated to strengthen her hips, which may involve having to exercise with her. These are the exercises you and your mom should do together.
Wall Marches and Backward Leg Lifts
Have your mom place both hands on the wall. She wants her feet to be a foot or two from the wall. Using the wall for support, lift one knee as high as she can. Switch sides and repeat. She wants to create marching movements and go as long as she feels possible.
After doing the marches, she will reverse the motion and lift her leg behind her as far as it will go. Point and flex the foot as she does it. Again, do this as many times as she can tolerate it. She should stop if she feels too tired or sore to continue.
Have your mom lay on her back on a yoga mat or a bed. She wants to lift one leg, bending it at the knee. Using her hands, she wants to pull the knee as far towards her chest as it will go. Repeat this back and forth between the legs until each leg has stretched five times.
Have your mom bend her legs at the knees while she’s lying on her back. Her feet should stay flat on the floor. Without twisting her back or lifting her shoulders, she should twist at the hips, keep her knees together, and try to get her knees towards the ground. Do this five times to the left and five times to the right.
Make Sure Your Mom Has Support
It’s easier to do exercises each day if someone is with you. Your mom may want you working out with her. You can also hire a caregiver to cheer her on.
Companion care at home is one way to guarantee your mom completes daily exercises that help strengthen the hips. She’ll have a caregiver with her for encouragement and daily exercises. Make arrangements for companion care at home by talking to a home care advisor.