If you’ve ever broken a bone in your hand and had to wear a cast, you probably learned very quickly just how often we use our hands for everyday tasks. If you hurt your dominant hand, it’s even more apparent how even a small loss of dexterity can make daily tasks challenging.
As many seniors age, their manual dexterity decreases for a variety of reasons:
• Carpal tunnel
• Muscle weakness or spasms
These developments can make it difficult for seniors to perform the tasks they are used to performing, from daily chores to hobbies like painting or playing music. There are exercises that can be performed to improve manual dexterity and keep hands in good working order. Remember to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
1. Use a squeeze ball
A soft ball is a great starter tool for manual dexterity exercises. Squeeze for three to five seconds, then release. This should be repeated 10 to 12 times on each hand. This exercise is good for improving grip strength, which is needed for opening doors and holding objects.
2. Practice making fists
Make and hold a gentle fist for up to one minute, then stretch the fingers out as wide as you can. Repeat these three to five times on each hand. This improves the range of motion and finger flexibility, which is good for tasks like typing or precision work.
3. Use warm soaks
Before beginning exercises, seniors can reduce pain and stiffness by soaking their hands in warm water five to 10 minutes before beginning their exercises. This improves blood flow to hands and fingers.
4. Lift fingers
Place the hand flat on a table, palm down. Slowly lift each finger one at a time off the table and focus on making the motion smooth and seamless. This can be repeated eight to 10 times for each hand and improves finger flexibility and tendon strength in the arm.
5. Stretch wrists
Wrist strength is important for lifting objects. Hold one arm out in front of the body, palm facing down. Bend the wrist and point the fingers at the floor. Then using your other hand, push the fingers back gently like you’re getting ready to give a high five. This will cause a gentle stretch in the forearm. Repeat on both arms two to four times.
Caregivers can perform these exercises with their seniors as part of a routine to improve strength. They can also play games like tossing a soft ball or beanbag back and forth to improve hand-eye coordination and grip strength. For caregivers with children, this can be an especially fun option since it brings the whole family into the game. Caregivers may notice an improvement in senior strength and the continued ability to live independently and perform tasks adequately. Arm and wrist strength is important for seniors, and many exercises focus on building strength to maintain good health throughout the aging process.
If you are considering a Caregiver in Fayetteville, NY, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Serving Seniors, Inc. We specialize in offering services to the Senior Community in Syracuse and the surrounding area (Clay, Cicero, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, Central Square, and others). Call us today! 315-382-4300.
Most seniors can live independent lives for quite some time with just minor assistance. Family and friends cannot always be there to help with daily tasks, but Serving Seniors can help fill the need for transportation, errands, housekeeping, and more. Just a few hours a week can enhance your senior’s independence, happiness and overall quality of life.
Joan assists concerned families seeking a trained caregiver who will treat their loved ones with dignity, respect and compassion. Serving Seniors provides the highest level in-home non-medical care and companionship. Families and seniors can be assured of friendly, personalized service from dedicated, compassionate caregivers.
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