5 Stroke Recovery Exercises for the Elderly

By Marvin, 9:00 am on

5 Stroke Recovery Exercises

Recovering from a stroke can be daunting for seniors. In addition to recovering their strength, seniors need to relearn lost skills and memories. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. In Plano, families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

A stroke can be brought on by a number of factors, including high blood pressure (the main risk factor), smoking, heart disease, diabetes, factors in one’s personal or family history, and more. Once someone has had a stroke, recovery can take time. It is common for people who are recovering from strokes to experience falls, depression, mood swings, and difficulty with mobility and motor skills.

It is important to remember that the brain and body are resilient and truly capable of adapting post-stroke. Doing stroke recovery exercises not only helps with the rehab process, but can help the stroke patient feel a little more empowered and more in control of his or her stroke recovery process.

Here are some of the top rehabilitation exercises for seniors after a stroke:

1. Stretching

After a stroke, your elderly loved one’s muscles can become stiff. However, if your loved one stretches on a regular basis, he or she can prevent muscle shortening and joint contracture. Although many seniors do manual stretching, this may not be enough. Your loved one may need a splint to help stretch tight muscles and joints during stroke recovery.

2. Hand Exercises

These exercises can help your senior loved one regain motor skills post-stroke. Hand movements are one of the most difficult functions for a senior to regain after a stroke, which makes it extremely important to find the hand exercise that works best for him or her. Your loved one can start by using the unaffected hand to prevent stiffness and encourage movement in the affected hand.

Here are some good hand exercises for your loved one to try during stroke recovery:

  • Wrist extension and flexion
  • Thumb extension
  • Playing the piano
  • Working on jigsaw puzzles
  • Ball exercises
  • Putty exercises

3. Balance Exercises

Seniors already have impaired balance due to poor muscle strength and lack of flexibility. A stroke can affect a senior’s balance even more. One of the first things your elderly loved one must learn after a stroke is the ability to maintain balance while sitting. Sitting balance exercises are necessary during stroke rehabilitation because of the focus placed on strengthening the core.

Standing balance exercises can help your loved one learn to stand in place after a stroke and walk or perform activities without losing balance. Weight shifting forward or side to side, reaching forward with clasped hands, and reaching toward a weak side are some of the balance exercises your loved one should do during stroke recovery.

4. Brain Exercises

Your elderly loved one’s memory skills may decrease because of a stroke, but brain games are a great way to regain memory. Whether he or she is playing a game of chess or interactive games on a tablet, brain exercises require your loved one to think. These exercises stimulate the brain to make neural connections between the parts that have been affected by the stroke with the uninjured parts of the brain. Such games are also fun and provide stress relief, which is important for brain health.

5. Eye Exercises

Visual field loss, doubled vision, impaired eye vision, and visual-spatial disorders are some of the eye problems your elderly loved one could experience after a stroke. Eye exercises can help alleviate these visual deficits. Tracking exercises, computer games, and transitioning exercises are some of the things your loved one should try. After an extended period, he or she could regain some of the visual field.

Recovery from a stroke can take months or a year or more. These after stroke exercises can help your elderly loved one regain his or her coordination, mobility, and motor skills — and that can greatly contribute to quality of life. These exercises can not only bring self-confidence, but increase self-esteem for stroke survivors.

In Home Care for Stroke Patients in Plano, TX

A stroke can limit a senior’s mobility, which can make aging in place more challenging. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in home care Plano, TX, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.

If you are caring for a senior loved one who has experienced a stroke, the Plano, TX, post-stroke care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are expertly trained in stroke care and therapies, and can assist with a wide array of tasks, including bathing, grooming, cooking, and exercise. Call (214) 586-0120 to speak to a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.