Working with your elderly family member’s doctor to develop a customized exercise program for her can improve her health, help her to feel better, and also help her to be a safer and better driver. Being inflexible or having poor range of motion, among other issues, can distract your senior and keep her from operating her vehicle properly.
Range of Motion Exercises
Range of motion refers to the amount your senior can move a specific joint or muscle. In a healthy person, a range of motion is usually the full extent of the joint or muscle’s ability. For your elderly family member, her range of motion may be much smaller than it should be. This can make it difficult for her to look behind her, put on her seatbelt, or do a number of other things behind the wheel.
Even with power steering, braking, and other features, operating some parts of a vehicle can take more strength than your senior realizes. This can lead to a wreck or keep her from driving as much as she would like to do. Strength training doesn’t have to mean that your aging adult lifts heavy-duty weights, either. It could mean she uses resistance bands for a few minutes a day.
Balance and Coordination Exercises
There’s a lot more coordination required to drive than you might think. Exercises that improve both balance and coordination for your elderly family member help her to do things like pay attention to what’s going on around her while she’s turning the wheel, accelerating, and any number of other necessary functions.
The less flexible your aging adult is, the more difficult it can be for her to maneuver while she’s in the car, but also when she’s entering and exiting the vehicle. Tools such as swivel seats can help, but your senior does still need a bit of flexibility to help her keep up.
While your elderly family member is regaining her strength and other skills, ask her to consider allowing elder care providers and other people to drive for her. This keeps her from feeling stuck at home while she’s working toward her goal.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Wall, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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