Two of the major issues which affect people as they get older are a loss of balance and massively reduced flexibility, which can really impair everyday life. These two issues are the most pressing reasons as to why the bathroom is such a dangerous environment for the elderly and can result in a range of injuries.
Fortunately, there are a range of exercises which you can perform to try and limit the problems that these issues can cause and multiple accessories and bathroom components which can make your entire space that much safer, such as walk-in showers and disability baths.
Exercises To Improve Flexibility In The Elderly
The NHS has a variety of recommended exercises which can really help to improve your flexibility. They can offer benefits no matter how serious your flexibility issues are, and they are both simple and gentle to ensure that you don’t strain yourself and result in further damage than before.
During these exercises, make sure that you are wearing loose and comfortable clothing and that you have plenty of cool water close to hand. Start out gradual and slowly build up on these exercises to ensure that you don’t harm yourself.
Sit in a comfortable chair and make sure that you are completely upright and that you are looking straight ahead. Slowly, turn your head towards your left shoulder as far as is comfortable, and then turn your head to the right. Repeat this process three or four times on each side. Remember to take it slowly – it might seem like an easy exercise for some, but twisting your head too quickly can really cause some damage to your neck. This exercise is great for improving your overall neck mobility and flexibility.
Sitting upright, you need to make sure that you are looking straight ahead. Hold your left shoulder down, with your right hand and slowly tilt your head to the right – hold that position for five seconds (or as long as is comfortable) before repeating on the opposite side. If you can manage this exercise three times on each side every day or two, then you should really be able to notice that your neck muscles have loosened up a lot.
If, like many people, you suffer from a lack of flexibility in the lower back, then this might be the ideal exercise for you. Stand up straight, with your feet apart and your arms by your side. Without bending over, slide your left arm down your side as far as is comfortable – as you lower your arm and your shoulder, you should be able to feel the muscles in your opposite hip and across your back stretching.
Hold that position for two seconds before switching to the other side. If you can perform three stretches on each side a few times a week, then it shouldn’t be too long before you start to notice a loosening in your back.
Stretching Your Calves
If you suffer from tightened calf muscles, then you’ll know just how difficult it can be to get around comfortable. When you get up in the morning, and preferably when you go to bed at night, take the time to stretch your legs and see what a difference it can make over time.
To stretch your calf muscles, place your hands against a wall for stability. You need to bend your right leg and step your left back as far as you can whilst keeping it straight. Both of your feet need to be flat on the floor during the stretch. When you keep your left heel on the floor, you will be stretching the calf muscle.
Repeat with the opposite leg and perform three times on each leg.
By slowly building up these exercises, you will be able to notice a real difference in your overall flexibility and enjoy the advantages that regular exercise can provide.
Bathroom Accessories For The Elderly
Here at Bathtime Mobility, we understand that, although regular exercise can make a real difference, it can still be extremely difficult to relax in the dangerous environment of your bathroom. By making the most of the diverse range of disability baths and walk-in showers that we provide, you can hugely increase the safety of your bathroom environment and ensure that it is designed with your requirements in mind.
Choosing a bathroom design which doesn’t demand high levels of balance, such as walk-in baths and showers, can offer practical advantages and improve the safety of the entire room.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of mobility specialists today on 0800 29 22 110. Alternatively, you can arrange to make a visit to our showroom in Henley-on-Thames, and enjoy some real hands-on times with the best disabled and elderly baths and accessories available today.