Posture changes are inevitable with advancing age. Seniors may find that they are no longer able to stand as straight as they had in their younger years. Some older people may develop what is known as a hunched back. Improving their stance can be accomplished even later in life.
Why is posture important for seniors?
Posture is as important for seniors as it is for individuals of any age. Good body position promotes balance, which helps prevent falls. By standing up straight, the older adult centers his weight over his feet. Body weight is equally balanced, and the risk of falls and subsequent injuries are reduced.
Seniors with good posture benefit substantially when performing physical exercises. It allows these individuals to maintain proper form while exercising. The result of good stance and form when exercising is that the senior experiences greater gains and has fewer risks for injury.
Physically active seniors, such as those who play tennis, golf, or dance also reap the rewards of having good posture. The balance that comes with this strengthens the seniors’ abilities to participate in a sport, from running to skiing and all others.
Good balance is not just for athletic seniors. Rather, good posture is critical to walk across the floor or around the neighborhood, rise from a chair, walk up or down stairs, carry bags of groceries, and even turn to glance at someone across the room.
What causes poor posture?
A slouching habit may be responsible for some seniors with poor posture. Habits alone do not cause this, however. Physical reasons, like inflexible muscles or decreased range of motion (how far a joint can move), may also contribute. Tight chest muscles, for instance, pull the shoulders forward.
A senior with weak core muscles will end up slouching. Core muscles, which are found in the back, pelvis, and buttocks, link the upper and lower body. Seniors who slump due to weak core muscles will find that their bodies tip forward and off balance.
What is good posture?
In order to improve, seniors must recognize good posture. Essentially, it involves several components: the chin is parallel to the floor; shoulders are even; the spine is neutral; and, arms are at the senior’s side, with elbows straight and evenly positioned.
Additionally, the senior with good posture keeps the abdominal muscles braced. The hips remain even, and this can be seen by checking the mirror. Lower body criteria include keeping the knees even and pointing them ahead. Body weight is also distributed evenly across both feet.
How do seniors improve posture?
Balance-specific exercises are key to helping seniors improve posture. These exercises build strength where it is most needed. Stretching is an important component, as stretches loosen tight muscles. Increasing core strength and flexibility can noticeably improve body position in a few weeks. Always make sure to consult a doctor before staring an exercise regimen.
1. Chin Tucks
Seniors may easily perform chin tucks while sitting or standing. Start by pulling the chin back without lifting the chin toward the ceiling. Immediately after, gently jut it forward in the opposite direction. The aim is to stack the neck bones so that they remain in a neutral position.
2. Wall Tilts
Pelvis and gluteal muscles are strengthened by performing wall tilts, which in turn improve lower back posture. Stand with the back against the wall and place one hand behind the lower back. Flatten the lower back by pulling the abdominal muscles in and tucking the pelvis under.
3. Scapular Retractions
A resistance band is needed for this exercise. Loop the band around a sturdy fixture, like a table leg. Walk backward while gripping the band in each hand until the arms are parallel to the floor. Pull the shoulders back to draw the shoulder blades together.
The three abovementioned exercises require only small movements but engaging in the activities regularly can significantly improve an elderly individual’s posture. Exercising on a routine basis is important, as the physical activity reduces bodily stiffness and further strengthens seniors’ muscles.
Seniors may additionally practice other forms of exercise that focus on improving balance. Tai Chi, yoga, and Pilates are types of exercises that are accessible to seniors and gentle enough on aging bodies. Seniors are also advised to manage their weight to avoid straining the back.
Straightening the back can be achieved through the use of external devices, such as a back brace. Older adults might also consider investing in an ergonomic chair. Sleeping on one side and ensuring the head is level with the neck is another convenient way to practice good posture.
Patience and a commitment to developing good posture are all that’s required to see results. Improvement will take time, but seniors can reach their goal through continual effort and with the help of professional caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care.
We are a leader in compassionate elder care. With teams of experienced caregivers, our home care agency is positioned to support seniors in all facets of daily life. We assist older adults with all the activities of daily living, which includes exercises to improve posture and remain healthy overall.
Caregiver responsibilities range from help with personal hygiene tasks to grocery shopping and transportation. Our professional caregivers will drive your elderly loved one to Tai Chi classes and doctors’ appointments. They will also shop for fresh foods and prepare balanced meals, so that care recipients manage a desirable weight.
Our caregivers will provide physical support to seniors who feel unsteady while exercising. We accompany older individuals on walks, for instance. If your loved one has limited mobility, we provide safe transfer assistance. Caregivers also offer invaluable companionship to ease loneliness.
Assisting Hands Home Care delivers exceptional elder care to seniors of all ability levels. Our caregivers are insured and bonded to give families peace of mind. We are privileged to serve seniors living in from Boynton Beach to Jupiter, including BallenIsles, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, Singer Island, Wellington, West Palm Beach,FL and the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County. Call us at (561) 566-5989 to schedule an in-home consultation and start quality home care.