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Top Rehabilitation Exercises For The Elderly

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Services

Physical mobility is an imperative part of our daily life and becomes even more important as we head into our silver years. The lack thereof can significantly affect our quality of life and overall well-being, thus it is important we do the right kind of exercises. 

There are a myriad of reasons why someone might need rehabilitation, be it recovering from an injury, surgery, disease or illness, or because one’s functioning has declined with age. After finding a rehabilitation program, it can bring about benefits such as aiding in pain management, lowering stress levels, increasing one’s range of motion and helping you stay as independent as possible.

Before starting off the rehabilitation process, it is recommended to get an assessment from a doctor or trained professional to come up with a detailed recovery plan as there could be specific exercises that are more beneficial for that particular condition. 

Here, we recommended a series of exercises for targeted rehabilitation:



Neck – Neck Stretch (Side to side)

Source: Living Maples

Slowly bend the head to one side and once the head has flexed as far it can comfortably go to the side, hold the stretch for around 5 seconds before returning to neutral position. Repeat on the other side. Note that when you drop the head to the left, you should be feeling the stretch along the right side of the neck and vice versa. All movements should be performed slowly to avoid strain or dizziness.



Wall arm push outs 

Source: Healthy Connections

Start off by standing facing a wall, about an arm’s length away and feet hip width apart. Extend your arms and have the palms planted on the wall followed by bending the arms towards the wall until your nose almost touches it. Slowly return to a neutral position. While performing this exercise, you should be feeling the tension on the upper arms and shoulders so do remember to keep your arms as close to the body as possible, not letting them flare out. 

This is a variation of the pushup but takes the pressure off your wrists. Remember to always focus on proper form and slow controlled movements.


Shoulder raises

Source: Ask Doctor Jo

This exercise would help in loosening up the shoulder and neck region. Begin in a comfortable position when sitting or standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your shoulders towards your ears and down. Do at least 20 reps. 

Take note that only your shoulders should be moving in this exercise, and that you should always be breathing as shoulders come up and down.



Arm – Arm Circles

Source: Eat this, not that

This targets the shoulders and upper arms. Stand up and extend your arms straight out to the side and feet shoulder width apart. Make small circles with your arms, maintaining it at around shoulder height. Reverse the movement in the opposite direction.

While you are doing your arm circles, always keep your back and your arms straight and maintain a deep and smooth breathing pattern.



Hip – Hip marches

Source: Restorative Strength

Hip marches activate the glutes and hamstrings. It’s ideal for increasing core stability, and it enhances the ability to walk.

Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor. Ensure your back stays up against the chair, avoiding slouching and maintaining proper posture. Your hands can rest at the sides of your chair, or wherever is most comfortable. Lift up your right knee as high as comfortable, then lower it.

Alternate this movement for a total of 10 reps. 



Calf raises

Source: iStock

Aim to strengthen the calf muscle. Balance yourself by holding onto a chair or table. Slowly raise the heels up high, balancing on the toes. Lower after 3 seconds.


Calf stretch 

Source: Verywellfit

This exercise can complement the calf raises by stretching the muscles. Stand facing a wall, with one leg in front of the other. The front leg should be flexed with the rear leg straight. Support the upper body by placing both hands on the wall. Slowly lower the hips towards the wall, whilst keeping the back straight.


While performing these exercises, always remember to listen to your body and stop if the movement continues to cause excessive pain or discomfort.

Stop exercising immediately and consult your doctor if you experience any of the following: a) nausea, b) dizziness, c) breathlessness, d) tightness in the chest, or e) severe muscular or joint pain.

Muscle stiffness is quite normal when you begin exercising. However, if the stiffness persists, or if you should feel unduly fatigued after exercising, you may be working too hard! Slowing down and progressing more gradually should help.

About Growing Needs

About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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