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How can I get Dad to exercise more?

Dad had a stroke a couple of years ago, his balance isn't as good as it was before the stroke. His physical therapist wants him exercising and walking more but he is afraid of falling. He refuses to use a walker or even a cane because he says it makes him look old and decrepit.
Status: Open    Oct 14, 2014 - 12:40 AM

Senior Health & Nutrition

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Expert Answers

Oct 23, 2014 - 02:01 PM

I do understand and appreciate the fear of falling. There are ways to exercise and build up leg strength and balance without walking. Stationery cycles come to mind. How about swimming? Stationary bikes and swimming can be enjoyable activities so that might give your Dad some incentive. Other ways of improving balance are going up and down stairs, using the handrail. Standing on one leg, eyes open or closed, is also a good balance exercise just use the back of a sofa or similar to grab, just in case. I would also recommend having a chat with your Dad's physical therapist and let him/her know what is going on and see what they suggest.



Nov 02, 2014 - 07:10 PM

A secure lifevest and a 4 foot pool - you don't get hurt if you "fall", builds confidence, promotes upper body ROM, can use a condom cath if urinary incontinence is feared, practice standing/hopping/going up on your toes/straight leg raises/squats/abduction exercises/marching - you name it and a pool can provide it with a little resistence to boot!

Years of caring for seniors in my home, La Casa de La Voie, in rural Stagecoach, NV with a seasonal pool - wish it was enclosed for year round use!
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