Elderly Care in Hobe Sound FL
Among the many changes the body makes as we get older, the lungs are also affected. Part of the reason older adults’ lungs have to work harder compared to their younger counterparts is because the bones become much thinner and change shape. This makes it difficult for the ribcage to contract and expand during the breathing process. The diaphragm also becomes weaker as people age, eventually preventing seniors from breathing enough air in or out. While we can’t change what our body does as we age, there are several breathing exercises we can do to improve breathing and the lung function. Encourage the loved one you are providing home care to participate in these exercises.
This exercise will help bring more air into the lungs and oxygen into the blood. All you have to do is sit in a chair with your hands at your side. Take a deep breath and, as you are letting the air slowly out, begin to hum a single note. As you and your loved one begin to get tired, pull the stomach muscles in, holding them in for as long as possible while continuing to hum a single note. The more your practice this exercise, the easier it will become.
Belly breathing exercise
Not only will the belly breathing exercise improve your lung capacity, but it is also an excellent way to de-stress at the end of a long, trying day. The elder who is receiving senior care needs to lie on the floor with his hands placed right below his ribcage. The tips of the middle fingers should be touching his stomach. Take a deep breath and if enough air is getting into the lungs, the stomach should rise, separating the middle fingers slightly.
Abdominal assist breathing
This technique will give the loved one you are providing elder care to the ability to breathe at full capacity. Lie on the floor with one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. As you take a deep breath, notice that the hand on your stomach is rising higher than the one on your chest. Exhale and then take another deep breath through your nose, holding it for five seconds. Exhale and, once all of the breath is gone, begin contracting your stomach muscles.
Standing breathing exercise
Stand while placing both hands on your stomach. Take a deep breath in while expanding your belly. It is a very simple exercise, but will help strengthen the lung function of your loved one.
Rib lifting exercise
Stand with arms crossed at the wrists in front of your waist. Breathe in while raising your arms over your head. Relax and breathe out and lower your arms. Repeat this exercise ten times.
As beneficial as these exercises can be to your loved one’s respiratory health, there are some tips you need to keep in mind to keep them safe from injury;
- Maintain correct posture while sitting and standing.
- The spine should be in a neutral position.
- During each exercise, lift the ribs up and the shoulders back.
As with any new exercise plan or diet, it is important to consult with your loved one’s doctor before attempting these breathing exercises. If the doctor approves, these exercises can be an excellent way to improve the lung’s capacity and function.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of elderly care services in Hobe Sound, FL or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Call today at (772) 678-3324.
Silverman, Steve. Live Strong. “Breathing Exercises for the Elderly to Improve Lung Function.” 16 Aug 2013.
Elder Gym. “Elderly Breathing Exercises for Seniors.”
Medline Plus. “Aging changes in the lungs.”