The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 4 out of 10 seniors with Alzheimer’s develop depression. Some of the symptoms mimic common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Your mom might struggle to focus. She’s not getting out of bed in the morning. She seems irritable and doesn’t want to be around people. Her appetite and sleeping patterns have changed. Things she loved to do are no longer appealing to her.
If you notice these symptoms remaining for weeks, talk to your mom’s doctor. Depression may be an issue. While medications may be prescribed, many find that exercise is the best way to help ease the symptoms of depression.
Here are some exercise programs that can help.
You might not think of gardening as exercise, but it can be. Digging and raking works the legs, arms, and upper body. Bending over and standing back up works out the muscles in the back and hips.
Gardening also gets your mom outside in the sun. Sun can help increase serotonin levels and provides natural vitamin D. Both of those can help improve your mom’s mood.
Tai Chi is a very controlled martial arts form that involves refined muscle movements and control of breathing. It’s one of the best exercises if joint pain is a problem. It’s done at a slow pace and is more like a form of meditation than an exercise. While you move your body in specific ways, you’re also focusing on relaxation breathing.
Walking is one of the easiest exercises. All your mom needs is a comfortable pair of sneakers for foot support. If she’s at risk of wandering, you can hire a home care professional to join her on walks.
If your mom is okay taking a walk by herself, you may find she walks farther if she has a dog with her for company. If she doesn’t have a dog, she could volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter.
Like Tai Chi, Yoga is also very good with relaxation breathing techniques. Yoga involves poses that you hold while concentrating on deep breathing skills. Your mom may want to start with a program that’s geared towards seniors, especially if balance is a challenge for her.
Some exercise programs are best done with a companion. If your mom could possibly get lost or wander while taking a walk, make sure there’s a home care aide with her. Home care aides also help Alzheimer’s patients and their families with meals, housework, and respite care. Learn more by calling our home care agency.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Naples FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.