After your dad’s fall, he’s doing physical therapy at home to regain strength. He has some exercises his physical therapist recommended he complete in-between visits. What else can he be doing to improve muscle tone without risking his safety?
Always start by asking his physical therapist for advice. You don’t want to create any setbacks. If you’re told your dad has no restrictions as long as he’s seated.
Here are some effective chair exercises he can do between at-home physical therapy sessions.
While seated straight with his back against the back of the chair, your dad wants to raise one leg off the floor. Have him point his toes and move his foot in a circle. Do this five times in a clockwise direction and five times in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat with the other foot. He wants to do these ten times per leg.
Arm Curls and Arm Stretches
Have your dad sit back and keep his spine straight. Each arm should rest comfortably against his side. Starting with one arm, he wants to raise it up and bend the arm at the elbow to touch his hand to his shoulder. Slowly lower the arm back to the starting position and do the same with the other arm. Repeat this ten times.
After doing the arm curls, have your dad raise his arms straight up over his head. Once he’s raised them as far as he can, he needs to lower them back down and repeat. Do this ten times.
While seated with his back firmly against the back of the chair, your dad will raise one leg straight out and point his toes. Slowly lower that leg and repeat the process with the other leg. He should aim for 20 of these, alternating legs each time.
Have your dad sit firmly in his chair. His back needs to be against the back of the chair. From this position, he wants to act like he’s marching. He’ll lift one leg off the floor and repeat with the other leg. Set a timer and have him march for one minute. As he gains strength, increase it by minute intervals.
Have your dad get into a comfortable position with his spine pressed against the back of the chair. Bring his arms up and cross them in front of his chest. He’s going to twist slightly to the right and return to the center. Twist lightly to the left and return to the center. Repeat this for a minute.
Ask his physical therapist for additional ways to help him regain mobility faster. Until he’s moving around fluidly and has regained balance skills, he shouldn’t be alone. By pairing the exercises he’s learning in physical therapy with simple stretches he does from the safety of a chair, he has the chance to recover faster.