Using Yoga to Help Residents in Nursing Homes

by Sinke Car
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One of the biggest challenges that elderly residents in nursing homes face is staying active. While these places provide 24/7 care and supervision to our elders, there can also be a significant increase in age-related decline.

When we live at home, we do not realize that our day-to-day activities such as cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, going to work, doing the dishes or laundry and so on provide us with a means to stay active. These activities, while not enough to help with losing weight or toning up the way exercise, would help us maintain our muscle mass.

When our elders are moved to nursing homes, they no longer do those mundane chores that could help keep them active.

Yoga is beneficial for seniors living in nursing homes in many ways. Here are a few areas where this exercise can genuinely help:

Physical Health

source:health.usnews.com

We have all heard about the physical benefits of yoga. According to data, more than 65% of all seniors in nursing homes deal with high blood pressure issues. Practicing this under the guidance of a trained instructor can help control and even reduce blood pressure naturally.

Added to that there are a lot of other medical conditions that residents at nursing homes suffer from – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, a lack of balance, cancer and other illnesses. Yoga can help ease these issues and bring back a better quality of life for them.

Mental Health

source:seniors.lovetoknow.com

Mental health issues are some of the most significant problems faced by residents of nursing homes. Practicing yoga has proved to help alleviate depression and anxiety. Even patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have shown improvement through this exercise.

Emotional and Spiritual Health

source:greatseniorliving.com

One of the key benefits of seniors practicing yoga is improved emotional and spiritual health, which also leads to better mental health.

A yoga class not only works to create a sense of calm within you, but it also encourages mindfulness. As seniors practice it, they become more mindful, not just of their bodies, but also of their thoughts as well as their emotions. And as they become more connected with themselves, they become more emotionally and spiritually stable.

Another reason why yoga promotes emotional and spiritual health, especially in nursing homes, is because of the sense of community it creates among those who practice this discipline together.

People who are admitted to nursing homes come from different walks of life, and it is difficult to form bonds with, well, strangers. When these seniors participate in yoga classes together, they go through struggles together, and they grow together, which creates a bond and a sense of belonging.

Studies have clearly shown that one of the leading causes of depression among residents at a nursing home is a sense of isolation. Through yoga, residents can build social and emotional bonds with other seniors, which helps reduce that sense of isolation.

Choosing a Nursing Home with Yoga Classes

source:unitedchurchhomes.org

If you have to place your elderly loved one in such a place, find the one that offers yoga classes. Of course, your assessment of that place should also be based on other factors; such as cleanliness, adequate and qualified staff, how the residents are treated, are the staff happy, are the residents happy, and so on.

After all, you don’t want to end up putting your beloved elder in a place that mistreats them, and later on, would need to get a nursing home abuse lawyer involved to resolve the issue. However, in case of such mistreat, you need to consult a reliable lawyer such as one from InjuryLawService.com.

The good thing is that a lot of the good nursing homes today have understood the benefits of yoga, and have incorporated the practice in their activity schedule.

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