Many older adults develop a stooped or hunched posture as they age. Not only can it affect their self-esteem, but it can also throw off their balance and cause a fall. A hunched posture can be the result of several things or a combination of them.
One possible cause is the loss of muscle mass that begins at around the age of 30 and continues into old age.
They may also experience bone loss. On top of that, some people start to have balance problems, which can cause them to look down at their feet when they walk. However, one of the biggest problems that can lead to a hunched posture is the fact that many people simply spend too much time sitting. The problem with poor posture is that it causes weight to be redistributed around the body, causing stress on joints, leading to back, knee, and hip pain. The good news is that for many, poor posture can be fixed or prevented by making some lifestyle changes.
Below are some tips for ways your aging relative can improve their posture.
Do Posture Improving Exercises
There are some simple exercises your aging relative can do while sitting in a chair that can help them straighten up. Some exercises for them to try are:
- Have the senior sit in a chair with their feet flat on the floor. Then, have them stand up without using the arms of the chair to push themselves up. By using their leg muscles, their spine will straighten automatically.
- While sitting, the older adult squeezes their shoulder blades together for between three and five seconds. Be sure they keep their shoulders down.
- Remind the older adult to periodically roll their shoulders in a backward circle, which helps to keep shoulders from hunching forward.
Eating a healthy diet promotes good bone health and can help to preserve muscle mass. Some important nutrients are calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Many older adults don’t get enough calcium through the foods they eat. Ask their doctor if a calcium supplement is appropriate. In addition, they may need a vitamin D supplement, which helps the body to absorb calcium. Protein is important for keeping muscles strong. Choose lean sources of protein, such as poultry, lean cuts of meat, and plant-based proteins.
Yoga is an excellent way to strengthen the core muscles that support the spine. Yoga is generally considered safe for people of all fitness levels because it is gentle and does not place stress on joints. Of course, before starting any new exercise routine, it’s important for your older family member to talk to their doctor.
Senior care can help older family members to improve their posture. A senior care provider can help your aging relative to do the chair exercises described above, ensuring they do not fall when attempting to stand. Senior care providers can also cook healthy meals that include good sources of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. In addition, if your older family member is interested in taking a yoga class, a senior care provider can drive them to the class.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Folsom, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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