Think for a second what we do with our hands.
They clean us, feed us, dress us, and often earn our living. As we age, however, our hands can lose quite a bit of flexibility, if we’re not careful.
People over 65, in particular, often lose range of motion in their hands because of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, hormonal changes, and poor nutrition, to name the most common. And hand injuries in seniors do not heal as quickly as they do in the young.
So when a senior develops difficulty using his hands, it’s serious. Here are a few ways your mother or father can keep his or her hands mobile and strong. Senior Care can help them with these exercises.
The thumb is an important human adaptation that animals would envy if they could. Thumbs are the reason that humans can do things like pick up a dropped object off the floor and open jars.
Thumb stretches are what they sound like. Simply extend the thumb out from the hand as far away from the other fingers as it will reach. Then move it in until it touches the palm of the hand, keeping the thumb straight the whole time. Repeat these two movements in a continuous motion several times.
Slow Rolling Fist
With the fingers in a straight position, your mother or father should slowly make a full fist, starting with curling the fingers up above the palm. From that position, the hands should then make a loose fist, with the fingers angled slightly up, then a straight fist with the fingers pressed tightly in a closed, straight fist.
To work out the wrist, your mother or father needs to place the forearm, palm down, on a table with a rolled towel under the wrist as a cushion. The towel should be at the edge of the table to allow the hand to fall below the table while the arm remains resting on the table. Then flex the hand back as far as it can comfortably go, The fingers in this position will be pointing at or near the ceiling. Ideally, the hand will be at close to a ninety-degree angle from the arm, but this goal may not be realistic for many seniors. Then move the hand in the opposite direction as far as possible without straining until the fingers are pointing at the floor or approaching it.
In this exercise, the senior can be standing or sitting. She holds her elbows at her sides and extends her hands out in front of her at a ninety-degree angle. Slowly and deliberately, the senior should move both hands so that the palms face the ceiling or the sky, then turn them around so that the palms face the floor or earth, keeping the arms in the same position.
Senior Care Can Help Maintain Hand Health
If your senior has lost substantial use of his hands, hiring senior care can be a huge help. Senior care specialists can ensure that your senior does his or her hand exercises correctly and on a daily basis. This can seriously help a senior who has had an injury or a hospitalization recover the use of his or her hands.
In conclusion, hand health is one more concern for seniors. But many people can retain a good range of motion by doing simple exercises at home. Knowing what exercises work and doing them consistently is the key to retaining good flexibility. Your senior care provider can help your senior with these exercises.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Senior Care in Gardendale, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
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