Working Out the Best Workout Plan for Dementia

Exercise is one of those things that usually finds its way onto your list of New Year’s resolutions, then eventually gets lost. We think of the benefits exercise has for the body, whether it be maintaining our health or recovering from illness or accident. When a person has dementia, we might think exercise and activity would be wasted on someone who has limited responsibility and responsiveness, and perhaps little time left to enjoy life, such as it is. But that is far from the truth.

Exercise and activity benefit the mind as well as the body, especially for someone afflicted with dementia. After all, a dementia patient is still a person with a body and soul that need stimulation and training. A well-planned and well-managed exercise routine can increase the quality of life of your loved one by providing them with pleasure and purpose. It can also help when dealing with challenging behaviors.

Exercise and activity don’t necessarily mean hiking down to the local fitness club or cluttering up the house with barbells and designer sneakers; a little common sense and advice from a medical professional can start you and your loved one on that path to purpose and pleasure.

Bodily exercise is basically any activity that increases the heart rate. This can be as simple as walking, as helpful as housework, and as much fun as dancing! Mental exercises can range from playing word or card games, to gently reviewing bills and finances, to having conversations about sports, family, flowers, and anything that interests them. Just about anything that makes your loved one feel useful, safe, loved, and happy, is fair game.

For a comprehensive but easy-to-follow summary of the benefits of, and steps to implement, an exercise and activity program, visit Dementia - activities and exercise, from BetterHealthChannel, State of Victoria, Australia. This site also included safety tips for patients and helpful resources for caregivers (Note: The BetterHealthChannel site is based in Australia, but similar resources may be available in your area.). Another informative and supportive source for activities is the Daily Care Activities page, from Alzheimer’s Association.

Remember, with the proper advice and planning, an exercise plan for your dementia patient can benefit him or her in many ways. And maybe, a little exercise won’t hurt you, either!

Hidden Meadows on the Ridge is a senior care community in Upper Bucks County, less than 30 miles north of Philadelphia. With 54 private and shared living studies, Hidden Meadows on the Ridge provides a peaceful setting where seniors can maintain their independence while having access to professional personalized services and nursing care. Hidden Meadows on the Ridge is a pet-friendly community. The Laurels, our newly-designed memory care residence, offers 48 private and shared rooms. Tucked in the beautiful, serene, Bucks County countryside, Hidden Meadows on the Ridge understands and addresses seniors’ concerns of preserving their independence while maintaining their physical health and safety, their mental health, and providing peace of mind for family members and caregivers. See http://www.hiddenmeadowsontheridge.com.

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Hidden Meadows offers several assisted living options to meet your individual preferences, and your health and social needs. We will assist you with customizing your spacious living quarters with your own furnishings, or if you prefer, choose a furnished unit.


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The Laurels offers individuals with memory impairment a state-of-the-art neighborhood designed community, providing both privacy and an engaging lifestyle. While safety and security is our primary focus, residents enjoy our comfortable, home-like atmosphere.


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