Aging at Home Caregiving Wellbeing

Manual Dexterity: Simple Hand Exercises for Seniors

Maintaining manual dexterity is an important part of helping your senior loved one remain both healthy and independent. Even seniors who receive in-home care in Dayton will enjoy the benefits of stronger hands, which will allow them to complete more tasks without help and give them a sense of achievement. Consider trying some of the following exercises with your senior loved one to improve manual dexterity. 

Play String Games

Remember those old games like Cat’s Cradle? Playing string games can help your senior loved one improve the strength of each of his or her fingers. Look online to find the patterns for some of the most common string games or buy a book about them. Your senior loved one will enjoy it if you practice with him or her so that it feels more like a fun game rather than an exercise. In fact, you can volunteer to try first and then “challenge” your senior loved one to do it as well. String games can be done as often as your senior loved one would like, but for optimal results, try to do it at least every other day. 

Try Origami

To help improve your senior loved one’s manual dexterity, purchase a book about Origami. These books often come with papers to fold and step-by-step instructions for making some really neat paper creations. One of the benefits of this exercise is that it’s a great deal of fun and won’t feel like work. Your senior loved one can even show off the creations he or she has made to relatives or friends and neighbors. If your senior loved one seems to really enjoy origami, look into a more advanced book after he or she has completed the first one to continue to exercise his or her dexterity. 

Squeeze Your Fists

One simple manual dexterity exercise you can have your senior loved one try is have them make a fist. Next, encourage him or her to squeeze inward on the fist as hard as possible. Have your loved one hold it for three to five seconds before slowly releasing the fist. The slow release also helps strengthen the fingers and is an important part of the exercise. Remember, for safety and comfort, cut and file your loved one’s nails and remove any rings before having your loved one try this exercise. Have your loved one repeat the fist squeeze about five times on both hands. Seniors can do this exercise twice a day or more often if they feel like it.
Manual dexterity and fine motor functions are important abilities for seniors to be able to manage simple tasks around the house. Some seniors require more help than others, which is why Home Care Assistance provides numerous services such as dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care in Dayton. If your loved one needs help around the house or simply needs companionship, we will be there to help. Schedule a free consultation today when you call [hca_phone] and speak with an experienced Care Manager.

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