Caregivers in Old Greenwich, CT
Your physical health and well-being is an essential element of being a safe, healthy, and effective caregiver for your elderly parents. Tasks such as putting groceries away, providing mobility and transfer assistance, bathing and dressing, and even cleaning the home require physical strength, stamina, and range of motion. Without proper flexibility and strength in your joints, you could suffer pulls or strains, or even lose your balance and fall during these activities, putting yourself and your aging loved ones at risk of serious injury.
Stretching is one of the best things you can do to build and support your physical health and condition. Regular stretching improves the flexibility and range of motion within your joints and muscles, and allows you to move with greater confidence so you can stretch, bend, twist, and lift more effectively. For many caregivers, however, the idea of fitting stretching sessions into their already busy schedules is overwhelming. Instead of trying to find blocks of time to focus on stretching exercises, find ways to work these movements into your daily routine. This lets you make the most of your time, improving your body while also taking care of your daily tasks.
Some of the ways you can make stretching part of your daily routine without sacrificing a tremendous amount of time include:
• While sitting in traffic. Encountering traffic is a sure way to build your stress, but it can also be an opportunity for you to relax and stretch some of your muscles. While you are waiting for the bottleneck to let up or that endless red light to change, gently roll your neck from side to side, tuck your chin to your chest to stretch the back of your neck, and focus on sitting up straight with your shoulders back to stretch and strengthen your back.
• While cooking dinner. Rather than just standing still in the kitchen while your meal cooks, take this opportunity to work on your leg and arm muscles. Step back from the stove and reach down to touch your toes, cross your arms over your chest in turn and pull gently to stretch your shoulder, and lift your feet to tuck your heel against your backside to stretch the front of your thigh and work on your balance.
• While watching TV. Do not just sit on the sofa or in a recliner while watching TV with your parents. Take a seat on the floor and sit with the soles of your feet together in the "butterfly" position, lightly pressing down on your knees to stretch your hips. You can also bend one leg into yourself and extend the other leg, holding onto your toes and stretching your torso over your leg to stretch all of the leg muscles.
While stretching, remember it is important to keep your body safe. You should feel a slight pull in your stretch, but you should not experience pain. Hold each position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat it several times to gently loosen and strengthen each set of muscles. If you experience soreness, soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts for 20 minutes to help relax your muscles and ease the pain.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Old Greenwich, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.