Arthritis and other problems can cause your senior to lose both strength and dexterity in her hands. Some of these activities can help to retain some of the dexterity she still has.
Daily hand stretches are a must if your senior has problems with her hands. This helps her muscles and ligaments to relax and retain mobility. These don’t have to be complicated, either. One of the easiest is to have your senior stretch her hands and fingers open as far as possible and then relax them. Another is to have her grasp something tightly and then relax her hand again. Ask her doctor about other stretches that can help her specifically.
Playing with Dough and Clay
Playing with modeling clay and even with dough is a sensory experience in itself, but it’s great for maintaining dexterity. Your senior might want to mold the clay into specific shapes or even just hold onto it and play with it. No matter what she chooses to do, the clay or the dough can offer a little bit of resistance that works her muscles.
Sewing, Knitting, or Other Crafts
Knitting, sewing, and other hand and needle crafts use specific and repetitive movements that can help to build muscle strength. One caveat to keep in mind, however, is that these repetitive movements can become painful if they go on for too long. Setting a timer can help to keep your senior from overdoing it. If she does need breaks, make sure to let other family members and elderly care providers know so that they can help remind her.
Playing an Instrument
Almost every instrument involves using the hands in some way to help create music. If your elderly family member doesn’t already play an instrument, she might enjoy learning one. Depending on the instrument, she might be using her hands in ways that she never has before.
Playing with Building Toys
Toys such as blocks or linking building toys require at least a little bit of manual dexterity. Even manipulating them enough to sort them according to size or color can be enough to give your senior’s hands a workout.
Be sure to talk with your elderly family member’s doctor or physical therapist about what other types of activities could help.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Brighton NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
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