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Why Stretching Is Important For Your Elderly Parent

In our last blog post we talked about taking care of your elderly parent, something made much easier when paired with the optimal experience of mobility equipment for the elderly. One of the primary combatants to mobility loss that we spoke of was stretching and balance exercises. The reason that stretching is so important, especially for your elderly parent, is that as we age our muscles don't just lose their elasticity, but they also shorten in length. Often you may see or notice that older people tend to hunch, and while we can’t say that this is solely due to the shortening and loss of elasticity in their muscles, we can say that it is a contributing factor. Anything that you can do to aid your elderly parent in avoiding losing their mobility is admirable, as it is a lot of work doing things like prepping their house for old age (as we talked about last week) or leading your elderly parent in a short stretching exercise.

In this week's blog post, we are going to discuss stretching, why it is so important for your elderly parent, and how you can help them fight their mobility loss!

Getting Started

First and foremost, we need to talk about the importance of stretching. While yes, today we are discussing why stretching is important for elderly parents, it is important to point out that it is never too early to start stretching because the framework of your younger body impacts how your body ages. Starting to stretch at a young age can keep your muscles flexible, strong and ultimately much healthier in the long-run. Although you may be unsure of your parent’s “stretching history”, it is never too early for them to start.

Fast forward 40 years, your parent is elderly and starting to show early signs of mobility issues, so do you go ahead and buy them the mobility equipment or do you start your parents on a stretching regiment? Obviously, this decision should involve your parent’s healthcare professional, so be sure to consult them, but if they say that your parent is still fit to complete a light stretching regiment, it may aid your parent in their endeavor to overcome their potential future mobility issue. 

Why Stretching Is Important For The Elderly

As we said earlier, the continued stretching and exercising of a muscle is key in keeping it strong, flexible and healthy.  Without stretching, muscles can become tight, strained or ultimately damaged due to the continued neglect of the muscles. Even as a young adult, sitting in a chair all day with minimal stretching or movement can be damaging to muscles, so imagine how quickly not stretching affects your elderly parent.

As your parent becomes elderly, it is likely that they become less active, with a vast majority of elderly parents spending most of their days in a sedentary (seated) position. Whether they are playing bridge, watching the programs that remind them of their younger days or simply relaxing, their muscles are tensing at an alarming rate. While your parent may be comfortable, it is important to encourage them to stretch for the following reasons.

Posture & Blood flow

Stretching is often only associated with range of motion, with people assuming that the only benefit of stretching is being able to touch your toes when in reality stretching can also promote things like good posture and blood flow. When you and your parent’s physician decide the correct stretching regimen for your parent, you will notice that their posture will positively change after completing the exercises. Not only will their posture noticeably improve, but their mood might as well. Activities like stretching promote blood flow, carrying more oxygen to their brain and leaving them feeling more alert and in a better mood.

Relief for Their Spine

Sitting for multiple hours a day can compact your parent's thoracic spine or the middle part of their back. Simple stretching can relieve any tension that it built up in the spine, avoiding any other complications that can result from spinal stress.

Better Balance

Balance is an extremely important thing for your parent, as the elderly often struggle with balance in older ages. If your parent is already exhibiting signs of early balance issues, it is important that they begin stretching. Stretching can alleviate muscle stress and tightness in your parent's bodies, improving their balance over-time.

What To Do If Stretching Doesn't Help

Obviously, everybody's body is different and reacts to different stimuli in different ways, so stretching may not provide a positive influence on your parent's health in a short amount of time. Your elderly parent may still eventually develop mobility issues such as struggling to navigate through the kitchen and the dining room of their home, so contact us at HomeCARE furniture by ComforTek. At HomeCARE furniture by ComforTek , we specialize in creating mobility equipment for the elderly that not only acts as a mobility aid but also lets your elderly parent retain a sense of independence.

At HomeCARE by ComforTek, we create a plethora of dining room chairs for the elderly. Whether you are looking for a stationary swivel chair or a dining room chair with casters, we have it. Our chairs also feature durable fabric and bariatric support, because our mobility chairs are meant to last.

If you have any questions about our products, please don't hesitate to contact us! At HomeCARE furniture by Comfortek, we are here to help both you and your elderly parent overcome their mobility issues, together.