The Get Up and Go Test at home is a great way to do your own assessment as a way to know if a PT referral would be helpful for you.
– Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN
Do you know the best ways to prevent falls as you age? Want to learn more about how physical therapy (PT) can be a game-changer?
This information is important for all of us as we age but are especially important for caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Join me on today’s episode as we learn about low-cost, low-impact ways to stay strong with two amazing Physical Therapists who will answer these questions.
Be sure to LISTEN TO THE END and get a FREE checklist for Top 4 Exercises for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease based on today’s episode.
Key points covered in this episode:
Main Point #1: Why are strength and balance exercises more important as we age? (compared to cardio)
Why are these things even more important for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease?
✔️ Prevents Falls
✔️ Improves Cognition
✔️ Independent longer
✔️ Improves overall function > Increases socialization and quality of life
Main Point #2: Role of PT – PTs help with? When and How to get a PT referral: For Caregivers and persons living with Alzheimer’s disease
Signs and symptoms that PT would be good for you…
Get up and Go Test Exercise
Preventative PT vs. Post-Trauma PT
Main Point #3: So if you can’t go to PT, you’re not quite there, or you are at home with a loved one living with dementia … What are the best exercises to do at home together?
Here are the Top 4 Low Cost, Low Impact Exercises you can do at home (with safety reminders to build up to better balance and increasing strength)
Whatever you do, it needs to challenge you; needs to be harder than normal activity. For each one, you’ll want to do about 10 reps each time and do each one of these 3-4 times a week.
Sit to Stand – For this exercise, you sit in a chair and try to stand up without using your upper body. So try to stand up without using your hands and arms to push yourself up out of the chair.
Single Leg Standing – This exercise is just what it sounds like, you just stand on one leg for one minute without holding on to anything. If you try this and are unstable at first, steady yourself with a wall or furniture. Over time, you should become more steady and not need any support. Try to hold your foot above the level of the ankle of your supporting leg. If you need to balance yourself, you can use your full hand on a countertop, and advance to “piano fingers”, until you don’t need any support. The great part about this exercise is that doing this for one minute is equal to walking for an hour, the same benefit as walking 3 miles
Tandem Walking (Tight Rope Walking) – For this exercise, you can put a piece of tape on the floor to use as a guide, but you are just going to walk in a straight line by putting one foot in front of the other. As you step forward, you will try to keep your heel as close to the toe of your front foot for each step, just like you would do if you were walking a tight rope. Tandem Walking + Tandem Walking Closeup (both have a horizontal version)
Heel Raises – Heel raises are another exercise you can do anywhere. You just go from standing flat footed to raises up on your toes (so your heels come off the ground). If you are not steady doing this at first, use the wall or furniture. A great exercise. If you don’t have good strong calf muscles, you’ll fall on your face.
Main Point #4: Practical ways to build in physical activity.
Create Triggers to remind you about physical activity: Do an exercise during commercials, when you hear music, standing in line or even while brushing your teeth
Set Reminders: You can set reminder alarms on your phone or watch to help you remember to do these exercises and have them prompt you 3-4 times a week. You could even set a reminder alarm for each exercise during the week if you don’t want to do them all at once.
Use a Checksheet : Use a visual reminder to track how often you are doing the exercises. Keep the checklist on your refrigerator to remind you.
We’re excited to share a simple Tracking Checklist with you! To get a free copy of the checklist, go to https://melissabphd.com/top4exercisesaging
You want to do all 4 of these exercises 3-4 times a week and the tracker will help you make sure you are.
Don’t forget to check out Carole and Dana’s podcast on YouTube: Exercise for Aging Well and everything about the easy way to stay fit & healthy as we grow older on their website: exerciseforagingwell.com
If you have questions, or comments or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at email@example.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.
More Resources About Memory And Alzheimer’s Disease …
This Is Getting Old has several other episodes about memory and Alzheimer’s. You can check them out below: