Senior Citizen Exercise Tools can Help Keep Your Aging Parents
Out of the Hospital

Buying senior citizen exercise tools for your elderly parents to use at home may be a wise decision. Regular exercise in general is a good habit and helps maintain healthy living.

However, the decision to buy and use exercise tools is not one you should make alone. Always check with your aging parent’s doctor and physiotherapist before making a purchase or using any exercise tools. Make sure it is going to be safe for them to use.

Once you’ve received an approval from their physician, there are a number of different senior citizen exercise tools that can help keep your parents limber and strong. When you purchase one, make sure your parent (or the caregiver that helps your parent) is instructed to use it as suggested on the equipment, or as their doctor or physiotherapist advises.

  • You can get one particular device that is a set of pedals that can attach to any chair or wheelchair. It can be used to build strength and endurance.

  • You can get another device that is used to improve sitting or standing balance. It is a 2-inch tall air-filled rubber disk that sits on the floor or on a chair.

  • You can also get free weights of up to 5 lbs. to increase your aging parents’ strength. As they become able to lift more and more weight, you can increase the number of times they lift them. The number of times, or reps, varies from one person to the next, so ask their doctor or physical therapist how many, just to be safe.

  • There are also stationary bikes that can be used by aging seniors in a home exercise program.

  • You may also look into using resistance bands, which are like wide rubber bands, to build strength.

  • Don't forget to consider stairs as another device that can be used to strengthen and to improve functional mobility.

  • You can get a special set of squares that are applied to the floor in a particular design. This may be used for balance and to increase freedom of movement.

  • You can order various sizes of rubber balls that are typically used for exercise and to increase balance. They can be used to sit upon, lie upon, or stand with one’s back pressed against them, against a wall, according to usage instructions (or those of your parent’s doctor or physiotherapist.)

  • You can get parallel bars, walkers and canes to use to improve standing balance and gait.

  • A piece of equipment called a “standing table” also may be used to build standing balance and improve posture.

I would not recommend an elliptical machine as a senior citizen exercise tool. It may be difficult for seniors due to the equipment design and most seniors’ unsteady balance.

Some of this equipment may be bought from medical supply houses, online, or, in the case of the balls, in toy stores. However, it is important to note that some medical supply sources require a prescription before you can place an order.

I know of one woman of 78 who often uses the parallel bars, and is always talking about the benefits she has gained from using them. She is an avid fan of physical therapy and says she can still walk (with a walker) mainly because of her regular physical therapy program. Only when necessary does she use a wheelchair, because of her poor balance over long distances. Such are the rewards of increased balance, freedom of movement, endurance and strength.

Senior citizen exercise tools: Once approved by a doctor or physiotherapist and used correctly in a regular exercise program, your parent may begin to see similar results to their balance, strength and overall ability to move freely. That, alone, may be reason enough to consider asking their doctor about getting them today.

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