Current Activities in Long Term Care
By Kate Lynch, Editor  www.activities4elders.com/
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Muscle loss can be helped by an exercise program

Many elders develop sarcopenia as they age. This is the gradual loss of muscle, that
occurs naturally with aging, and it affects up to half of all elders.
In severe cases, sarcopenia can cause poor functioning, increasing disability, and even
increased death rates.
But research shows that this condition can be helped in many elders, by giving them
regular exercise… particularly resistance or strength training, plus making sure that
they’re getting enough to eat.
      Researchers recommend that even frail elders get as much exercise as possible,
according to their own medical restrictions and situation.
      One study showed that a 12-week resistance training program, for example,
increased muscle mass and performance by 30 percent in elders who had hip
replacement surgery.
      This was an important finding for your elders, since hip replacement surgery can
lead to decline and immobility in your elders, if they don’t get enough exercise and
proper nutrition.
       Examples of resistance training include hand-held weights, pulling on bands, knee
extensions, biceps curl, rising up on toes, and so on.
Even elders in wheelchairs, or those who are bedridden can benefit.
      And, also, just taking regular walks with your elders has been shown as a great way
to get needed exercise, and help prevent sarcopenia.
      As always, first consult with appropriate medical personnel before starting any elder
on an exercise program, and don’t let them exercise too much and get over-tired.
Researchers recommend 1-3 sessions per week, not less than 2 days apart, each
lasting about 40 minutes.
      This schedule, however, will vary according to the medical condition of each of your
elders. But, even for those who can only do very little… getting them doing any types of
exercise, regularly, can have enormous preventive benefits.