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Gym Tonic Review – Gym for Seniors in Singapore

Gym Tonic - a gym for seniors in Singapore


Gym tonic was setup sometime back.

When it was announced, I felt that it was a great idea and that it may be good for my grandma.

For some reasons, we put it off for a while.

We got my grandma a gym tonic membership recently and I decided to share more about it here.

This is a blog post for people who may be sceptical about gym tonic or just want a better understanding of how it works.

There is not much information online about what to expect.

I’m writing this based on my family’s experience of visiting Gym Tonic and signing my grandma up for Gym Tonic at Methodist Welfare Services Senior Activity Centre in Sengkang, Fernvale.

1. Truly built for seniors

The equipment is definitely different from what you see at regular gyms.

The equipments look like they are much easier to access. It is not exactly a very big space .

I think there are less than 10 machines but each machine is focused on working a very different muscle group.

If you want to check out gym tonic, you have to make an appointment with the phsyotherapist.

At the centre I visited, the physiotherapist wasn’t there everyday.

He is only around on Thursday mornings, so we had to rearrange our schedules accordingly.

When we visit, the physiotherapist will make an assessment on the mobility levels of the seniors and subsequently assign the senior to machines that are relevant to him or her.

Seniors are also given a membership card which they can use to access Gym tonic.

Gym Tonic - a gym for seniors in Singapore
My grandma with her Gym Tonic Membership card

2. Suitable for seniors with wide ranging mobility

When I told my mum about gym tonic, she was skeptical at first.

Our initial impression of gym tonic was that it may not be suitable for my grandma who requires a wheelchair when she goes out.

In fact, when we visited Gym Tonic, it does feel like it’s for a much younger group of seniors as most of them look to be in their 60s and 70s.

They seem to be able to move around quite independently. My grandma is currently in her 80s.

We were also skeptical as to how much good Gym Tonic can do for my grandma. My helper brings her to the park for exercises a few times a week. So we weren’t too sure how beneficial it would be for her, or how different the exercises would be.

But, upon visiting, the physiotherapist assured us that she could benefit from the gym. He assessed her mobility through a few exercises like getting up from a chair and walking without her walking frame.

From there, he assigned a few machines to her. The ones that did not have too high steps so she could get up on them more easily.

The physiotherapist also gave her a card which preassigns the weights and repetitions for each machine. I think that this is super helpful as she won’t forget what are the exercises required of her.

It is also progressive. After a period of four to six months, the phsyiotherapist would assess my grandma to see if her condition has improved and if she can progress on to move stations and/or heavier weights.

3. A community beyond exercising

Gym Tonic is located within the Senior Activity Centre at MWS. This means that there’s quite a bit of activity going on regularly.

It’s quite fun as you see seniors get excited over bingo and other games planned by the centre managers.

My grandma especially looks forward to teabreak where they serve coffee, tea and simple dishes like beehoon.

The staff at the centre are super friendly too. This makes a world of a difference.

Here is some additional details about Gym Tonic

Costs

At MWS in Sengkang Fernvale, the membership costs $90 per year.

You can access the gym everyday if you want to. It’s only open on weekdays.

As part of the fee, you can also participate in activities at the senior activity centre and enjoy their tea breaks.

Locations

Man Fut Tong Ho Yuen Hoe Centre

14E Richards Avenue
Level 3
Singapore 546415

MWS Senior Activity Centre (Fernvale)

Blk 473a Fernvale
Street #01-17
Singapore 791473

Active SG Gym 
@ Our Tampines Hub Level 7
1 Tampines Walk
Singapore 528523

Bishan Community Club 51 Bishan Street 13
Singapore 579799

Peacehaven
Changi Day Centre 9 Upper Changi
Road North
Singapore 507706

NTUC Health 
Silver Circle SCC 
(Serangoon Central) 264 Serangoon Central
#01-207
Singapore 550264

We create localised games and activities for seniors. It’s time to help them break away from the stress of aging. Buy our games and make them smile here.

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Lessons from ASEAN students on ageing

Singapore University of Social Sciences Social Innovation Programme

Last week, the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) asked me to do a sharing on Play Huahee.

This was for ASEAN students who travelled to Singapore for SUSS Social Innovation Programme.

It was a really fun experience hearing from a room full of students from countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Singapore.

Facilitating discussions and hearing from these students gave me a much broader perspective on ageing, in the context of ASEAN.

I shared with them about Play HuaHee’s journey in ideation, testing, prototype and launch.

Beyond this, I also facilitated discussions among the students on their personal experiences with seniors, and ageing in their own countries.

It was so much fun interacting with the students.

One of the organisers at SUSS shared with me that the objective of the programme is not for the students to come up with a solution.

The focus is really for the students to learn design thinking skills that they can bring back to their countries, and also to form strong friendships in the region.

Here are the three things I learnt through the session:

Aware of the Pains of Ageing

The students who attended this session indicated ageing as one of the top issues that they were concerned about.

When asked to identify a senior who they know and the challenges that he or she faces, they were all very ready to share either about their grandparents or seniors in school or at nursing homes.

Some talked about mobility issues, dementia and also isolation.

They were very aware of the challenges that seniors faced. It was quite obvious that these issues meant quite alot to them and they wanted to find ways to help them.

Some difficult moments include a Malaysian student sharing about how she had to watch her grandma go through dialysis.

Another student shared about “Uncle Rojak” who had to work long hours selling Rojak because he needed to care for his spouse.


Governments see Ageing as an Issue

I shared with them about the different avenues of support for seniors in Singapore and facilitated a discussion on the similarities and differences of aging in their own countries.

The students shared that there are care homes (nursing homes) for seniors in their countries as well. However, the seniors who go to care homes are either very wealthy or homeless.

The students also talked about the negative stigma around care homes — it being seen as a place where people leave their parents if they are no longer able to care for them.

The provident fund system where the government institutionalises savings for retirement is also present in some ASEAN countries.

The government also gives out cash bonuses to support seniors and the underprivileged.

Varying levels of Support

While there is support for seniors in different ASEAN countries, all the students agreed that much more can be done.

One of the students from Thailand shared with me that ageing is only seen as a big problem in Singapore because it is a developed country.

He said that there are many other issues that his country is concerned about because they are still developing.

It made me look at things slightly differently.

Singapore University of Social Sciences Social Innovation Programme
We also had a fun round of Play Huahee games together. This was accompanied with loads of screaming and laughing. It is clearly a fun activity for the young too.

We create localised games and activities for seniors. It’s time to help them break away from the stress of aging. Buy our games and make them smile here.

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“Kong simi wei?!” You need to learn dialect. Here’s how.

Dialects are an integral part of Singapore culture: Singlish is a mesh-up of the various dialects and we all know the kopitiam lingo for ordering coffee.

Dialects are an integral part of Singapore culture: Singlish is a mesh-up of the various dialects and we all know the kopitiam lingo for ordering coffee.

However, the younger generations, and I speak for myself too, are often called “bananas” or referred to as people who “jiak kantang” (eat potato) for being “yellow” with our Chinese skin colour but very much Westernised in our thinking and way of life.

Not many of my friends are able to communicate well enough to converse in dialect.

Yet, Chinese dialects are used in our everyday speech, regardless of race, and there are also Indian and Malay dialects that are lesser known today.

This Rice Media article sums up the importance of knowing our dialects quite clearly, that it is so much part of our culture that without knowing how to speak it, we lose footing as a nation. 

However, apart from the seemingly drastic repercussions of not knowing how to speak our dialect, let’s get down to the basics on why we should learn our dialects – communicating with our grandparents.

I live in a three-generation household with my grandmother, and sometimes, communicating with her can be difficult.

Even with my average ability to converse with her in the Hokkien dialect, some things are just easier to say in English.

However, some seniors are not as fortunate, and we find ourselves looking at our phones when visiting our grandparents.

Having no one to communicate with them clearly and effectively can be alienating for our seniors.

Imagine going to a foreign country and being unable to talk to anyone even for a day!

It sounds extreme, but as society slowly slips into speaking only English, seniors who do not know how to will find it difficult to express themselves well, leading to miscommunication.

Being able to properly converse with our grandparents also opens many doors of information.

They hold a wealth of history, not just family stories, but also national history.

Stories of olden day Singapore and living through the Japanese Occupation become alive to us, other than just reading from the Social Studies textbook.

They become a common topic to talk about and we get to learn so much more from them, bridging the generation gap.

Those studying in the healthcare sector are also taking up dialect classes to better communicate with seniors, especially when advising them on their medical needs and health concerns.

Pharmacy students, as well as social work and medicine students are picking up the language especially as our population ages.

Taking care of their health requires us to communicate well with them, and learning dialects will be a great way to start.

Where can I learn them?

Some places to learn dialects include the various clan associations, such as the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan, Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan and inlingua School of Languages offering classes for Hokkien and Teochew.

Viriya Community Services also offers dialect classes through their Learn My Dialect programme, or sign up at learndialect.sg.

There are loads online resources you can use too!

Alternatively, engage your grandparents and ask them to teach you, using our Play Hua Hee card games as flashcards!

It is a great way to get your grandparents involved and spend some quality time with them laughing at all the mistakes you might make. After all, that’s the aim of learning dialects, right?

Play Huahee card games comrise localised food and heritage items with English and Chinese text. The illustrations of popular food and heritage items can be used to strike up a conversation.

Christel Goh, Co-Founder, Play Huahee created a localised game for seniors in Singapore when she noticed certain changes in her grandma.

Christel was struggling to find relevant activities to engage her grandma.

This led to the birth of Play Huahee which aims to create localised games and activities as tools to encourage interaction between caregivers and seniors.

If you want to find out more about Play Huahee card games and the different ways to play, visit here.

_______________________________________

Sarah Rachel Teo is currently studying sociology and religious studies at the National University of Singapore, and her love language is food.

She loves people who give her food and loves giving food to people.

Sarah enjoys deep conversations with people and kneading bread by hand to work out those nonexistent arm muscles.

We create localised games and activities for seniors. It’s time to help them break away from the stress of aging. Buy our games and make them smile here.

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6 Time-saving Apps Caregivers Can Use for Peace of Mind

6 Apps for Caregivers in Singapore

Keith’s mum and his late grandmother

In April 2011, my grandmother fell and broke her hip. She required surgery to replace it and needed a lot of care to recover.

She had to move from the hospital to the rehabilitation centre and finally back home.

It was a challenging experience.

My mother had to juggle many responsibilities like ensuring my grandma took her medication, scheduling doctor appointments, speaking with concerned loved ones, keeping the house clean and not forgetting taking care of the household and working at the same time.

I had simple tasks like cooking noodles or rice for my grandma. There were so many things to keep track of and I sometimes wished I could do more back then.

Fortunately for us, modern technology can now help a caregiver to better organise these responsibilities in a much more effective manner with the use of our phones.

Caring for our seniors is hard, but technology can help make our lives a little bit easier– so here are some practical caregiving apps and websites to check out that can help reduce the caregiver stress.

1.Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends - A One-stop resource app for dementia including alerts for missing seniors.

A One-stop resource app for dementia including alerts for missing seniors.

Developed by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), Dementia Friends app is a one-stop resource for dementia.

With the growing dementia-friendly Singapore movement, Dementia Friends app aims to leverage on technology and social media to provide caregivers with knowledge, resource and support.

Besides having access to information and resources on dementia such as how to manage some behaviours related to the condition (e.g. their loved one’s tendency to wander), the Dementia Friends app also allows anyone to sign up as ‘Dementia friends’ – where they will receive notifications to keep a look-out for missing seniors with dementia in Singapore when it is reported.

This app is a great tool if you’re looking for a community of support with caregiving-related responsibilities and a network of friends especially in times of crisis.

To get the app, search for “Dementia Friends” on
Google Play or Apple App store, or use the following URLs: http://tiny.cc/dfandroid or http://tiny.cc/dfios.

2.Foscam Camera Viewer by OWLR

(Camera monitoring app)

Foscam Camera Viewer is a great camera monitoring app that can help provide the extra assurance for caregivers, giving the piece of mind that their loved ones are well cared for in their absence.

Before we get into this app, it is very important to make the decision to install a monitoring app in cooperation with your loved ones or senior’s consent.

Foscam Camera Viewer is a great camera monitoring app that can help provide the extra assurance for caregivers, giving the piece of mind that their loved ones are well cared for in their absence.

It’s easy to set up and supports many popular security camera brands. A great thing about this app is that unlike others out there, the password is not stored and is fully in your control.

To get the app, search “Foscam Camera Viewer” or download on the Apple App store or Google Play.

3. Lumosity, Elevate, Senior Games & Play HuaHee

how do you engage seniors? Here are some games you can try
how do you engage seniors? Here are some games you can try

(Cognitive & Brain App/Games)

Being a caregiver is challenging and can often lead to caregiver burnout.

A convenient way to get fast and effective stress relief is to use brain games or cognitive training apps as a distraction for our loved ones.

They’re always at our fingertips and can be used any time of day at any given situation.

Having experienced feelings of guilt at times when caring for my grandmother back then (as she would often feel helpless and will apologise to me), I find that when I gave her something to do while I helped to clean or take care of her, it provided an avenue of distraction while at the same time was benefitting her.

It may take some time to get used to it, but my goal then was to get her comfortable enough so she did not feel upset or helpless that her grandson had to take care of her.

One such game is Lumosity – an app that has various levels of cognitive challenges designed to improve memory and stimulate the brain.

Or for a real-world application such as remembering names or calculating a bill, try Elevate. For a simple yet fun game, try Senior Games which includes 8 in 1 –matching, speed, memory, perception, calculus, awareness, recognition and focus.

If you’re looking for something more tangible and localised, why not try Play Huahee games?

Play Huahee is started by Christel Goh, a Singaporean who struggled to find relevant localised activities to engage her grandma. Thus, she decided to create her own.

Play classic memory matching, charades and storytelling games with a local twist. 26 beautifully sketched local designs such as the Kueh Tutu, Clogs and Tingkat in four different game plays.
Play classic memory matching, charades and storytelling games with a local twist. 26 beautifully sketched local designs such as the Kueh Tutu, Clogs and Tingkat in four different game plays.

Play Huahee’s games and activities features popular hand drawn Singapore icons like kueh lapis, tingkat, five stones, gasing etc.,

Play Huahee offers a memory matching game, a snap edition or a newly launched rendition of bingo.

Use the promo code App10 to get 10% off Play Huahee games this week!

For more information on activities to enjoy with seniors, check out
17 Activity Ideas For Seniors.

4. The Golden Concepts

The Golden Concepts

When my grandmother first came back home, we had to install a few things in the house, including bath handles in the bathroom, anti-slip mats and a mobility walking device.

Back then, we got most of the supplies from the local market or from hospitals – which tend to get quite costly!

Another thing was choosing the right eldercare product which was confusing at times.

Thankfully, there are e-commerce stores here in Singapore that curates eldercare products such as The Golden Concepts.

They have many products and options to choose from such as mobility tools, walking canes, wheelchairs, bathroom or bedroom accessories and even daily aids like creams, activities and gifts!

The Golden Concepts also adheres to the regulations set out by the Health Science Authority (HSA) for the supply of medical devices in Singapore.

For more information, check them out here: https://www.thegoldenconcepts.com/

5. Homage

Homage - A caregiver matching app

If you’re looking for help to care for your loved ones, check out the Homage app and website.

It connects caregivers with seniors seeking assistance and users can easily book different kinds of services, whether it be on-demand for an hour, or regular scheduled sessions.

A caregiver will be assigned based on the needs of the seniors themselves or their families.

Some of the key features include knowing about your caregiver before they arrive (including experiences and language), real-time notifications, and a post-summary report of the care provided after every visit.

To get the app, search ‘Homage’ or download on the Apple app store or Google Play.

6. Red Panic Button

Red Panic Button is a simple and streamlined app that serves as a medical alert on your phone.

It’s extremely easy to use and set up – just fill up the panic number or email address with a set message or SMS.

When there’s a distressing situation or an emergency, all you have to do is press the red panic button and the app will immediately send an SMS/E-MAIL containing your location on Google Map to all your emergency contacts.

If you’re concerned about the learning curve to use the app, not to worry as it has a user-friendly interface and intuitive functionality that can give the elder the independence and security.

To get the app, search Red Panic Button or download on the Apple app store or Google Play.

I hope that this article is useful for you.

My grandma has since passed on but the brief caregiving experience I had has taught me many things.

It’s important to know that we’re never alone on this caregiving journey and to take some time to rest and recharge to give the best care we can provide for our loved ones.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Keith Jonathan is a thrill-seeker and adrenaline junkie who makes the best of his creative misdirection in his narrative. When he’s not chasing the dream of a wanderlust adventure, he enjoys spending his time dabbling in unsolved mysteries, conspiracy theories and paranormal pursuits.

We create localised games and activities for seniors. It’s time to help them break away from the stress of aging. Buy our games and make them smile here.

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Just make them laugh

Aging is tough. We need to find ways to bring joy back to our seniors.

Aging is tough. We need to find ways to bring joy back to our seniors.

Last week, my grandma had quite a bit of difficulty getting out of the room. She fell the day before. Although she had no injuries, it made her weaker.

It was an intense and stressful situation getting to the dinner table. My family crowded around her. We had our hands all around her to support her as she painfully took each step to the dining table.

She had furrowed brows and perspiration dripping down her face as she inched forward. There was alot of yelling as we tried to help her navigate. (My grandma has difficulty hearing) It was uncomfortable for all of us.

For her, in that moment, she was frustrated that she lost the ability that we all take for granted daily. The ability to move around freely.

For us, her family, watching her struggle was stressful. One filled with emotional loss. Not knowing what to do and also fear of what more this grim journey of aging would bring.

After dinner, she wanted to go back to her room and call it a day. But, I told her to stay to play bingo with us. She was reluctant but I persuaded her to.

As we played the game, she laughed when she could find items on the bingo sheet. That was the first time she laughed in two hours of being in pain and struggling with her mobility. Aging is tough for seniors and the family members.

If you can find a chance, break away from the tense situation and laugh. Find something to laugh about. Maybe it’s a game, a story from a past or a joke.

Aging is what it is.

And, we must find a way to laugh, cheer and encourage even when there’s nothing to laugh about.

We may lose our abilities physically. But, may we never lose our ability to connect emotionally and just laugh.

Buy our games for seniors here. Take the stress away for a while. Make them laugh while you can.

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It is time to engage your grandparents. Here’s how

It is time to engage your grandparents. Here’s how.

Sarah and her grandma

Living with my grandma all my life has many advantages.

I get delicious homecooked food everyday.

I picked up the Hokkien dialect from a young age and listen to stories about olden Singapore.

But, with assignments piling up, I find myself interacting with her less than I wish to.

I often see her channel surfing on the television or nodding off on the sofa.

While television and cooking may be a good way for her to pass time, engaging with her through conversation and games make a great bonding activity and it also gets her moving and thinking.

You can do many things to engage your grandparents from telling them about your day or bringing them out for their favourite food.

If you want to kick things up a notch, you can consider trying out the Play Huahee card games.

Christel Goh, Co-Founder, Play Huahee created a localised game for seniors in Singapore when she noticed certain changes in her grandma.

Christel was struggling to find relevant activities to engage her grandma.

This led to the birth of Play Huahee which aims to create localised games and activities as tools to encourage interaction between caregivers and seniors.

It is fun for all ages.

If you already have the Play Huahee card games, here are some other ways to inject fun and variation into game play.

Introducing elements such as smell, taste, movement and multimedia involves different sets of cognitive usage, and makes the game interesting and more enjoyable!

Here are three alternative ways to use Play Huahee Matchoonary.

1. Blind Tasting

We all love food and getting tasty treats for our grandparents will surely be a great way to engage them!

Not only will it tantalise their taste buds, but also challenge them to connect the taste to the corresponding card, triggering memory.

You can easily get most of the food featured in the games from any hawker centre in Singapore.

How it works:

  1. Assign a game leader and they will prepare the food beforehand.
  2. Cut into bite sized pieces so that it will be easier for players to taste them.
  3. Blind fold all players.
  4. Place the pineapple tart, ang ku kueh, kueh tutu and kueh lapis in front of them.
  5. Let them taste the first food item. Remember to guide your grandparents by holding their hands!
  6.  After tasting, they can remove the blind fold and you can get them to guess the food they just ate from a range of Play Huahee cards.
A photo of elderly having fun with our memory matching game at Monfort Care Goodlife 16th anniversary event. It was held at Blk 15A Marine Terrace.


2. 3, 2, 1, Action!

Imagine a group of seniors pretending to flip satay sticks while screaming, “Satay! Satay!” Makes me want to join them in the game!

Incorporating hand actions and sounds into the game play adds some form of exercising and makes it entertaining.

Physical and cognitive training work hand-in-hand to ward off and slow down the decline of physical and mental function.

In a study conducted by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (2016), combining physical and cognitive training improved both mental performance and gait speed in early dementia.

Hence, dual task exercises are important for seniors to keep their bodies and mind healthy and engaged.

Keeping this in mind, we suggest incorporating some actions into the card game while saying some form of sound or word related to the card.

This game works even if you are with a big group of 20-30 seniors, or one to one with your grandparent.

How it works:

Pick out the clogs, kettle, straw fan and satay, and explain the actions and corresponding sound.

  1. Clogs: walk around and say, “clog clog!”
  2. Kettle: as if holding a kettle and cup, arms follow the Teh Tarik action and say, “whoosh whoosh”
  3. Straw fan: as if holding a straw fan, fan oneself and say, “zua ah!” which means “hot ah!” in Hokkieen
  4. Satay: flip hands, like flipping satay, and say, “satay satay!”

Have a game master to flash the cards one at a time, saying “3, 2, 1” before changing the cards.

This is a great ice breaker game when trying to engage a large group, and it also works on reaction time, monitoring how fast seniors can change actions according to the cards flashed at them.

Play classic memory matching, charades and storytelling games with a local twist. 26 beautifully sketched local designs such as the Kueh Tutu, Clogs and Tingkat in four different game plays.
Play classic memory matching, charades and storytelling games with a local twist. 26 beautifully sketched local designs such as the Kueh Tutu, Clogs and Tingkat in four different game plays.

For an easier option, you can ask the seniors to say the name of the item in the language that is most common to them instead.

For example, if “clogs” is difficult to pronounce in English, then you can also say “ka soot” which is shoes in Malay.

3. Picture Memory & Drawing

If you often volunteer with seniors, this game may help you entertain bigger groups of seniors.

This game combines light aerobic exercise through walking and encourages memory retention.

Furthermore, drawing as a form of art therapy, is a great way to practice hand-eye coordination and creativity. It is also another way of expressing themselves without using words.

How it works:

  1. Place the chosen card at one end of the room and the seniors at the other with a pen and paper.
  2. Ensure that there is sufficient space clear of obstructions for your seniors to walk.
  3. Split into teams of two to five. One player from each team walks to the card at the other end of the room and memorises it for 30 seconds or more. He or she then walks back to their team members.
  4. The player will draw out the item on the card for two minutes or more without talking.
  5. The team will have to guess what they are drawing.

This list is obviously not exhaustive, and you can use other methods to use the cards.

Our seniors have many stories to tell that we can learn from.

 Through these simple games, we get to interact and know them better while allowing them to be engaged at home.

Let us know which ones you and your grandparents enjoy, or if you have other ways of engaging your grandparents!

_______________________________________

Sarah Rachel Teo is currently studying sociology and religious studies at the National University of Singapore, and her love language is food.

She loves people who give her food and loves giving food to people.

Sarah enjoys deep conversations with people and kneading bread by hand to work out those nonexistent arm muscles.

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How To Assess Your Level of Flexibility

Level of flexibility


Any senior who is deciding to be proactive about stretching and increasing their flexibility is on the right track. However, before you start on your journey, it’s important to know where you currently stand.

The only way to do that is to assess your level of flexibility before starting. This will not only give you an idea of how much progress you’ve made after a while, but you’ll also be aware of any limitation, weak spots or other issues that you have.

The first point to note is that generally, the older you are, the less flexible you’ll be. This is often the norm unless you have been engaging in regular yoga sessions throughout your life or are a gymnast who have kept up with your flexibility training throughout the years.

Most seniors lead sedentary lives. So, it’s normal for one to be more rigid and stiff because of age.

If you are a caregiver, you can use the tips below as simple checks to gauge the flexibility of the senior(s) you are caring for.

  • Health inventory

Take a brief health inventory and ask yourself questions such as:

Do you have back issues?

Shoulder pain?

Neck problems?

Knee problems?

Knowing what health problems you have will allow you to work around them, or alleviate them. For example, if you have knee pain, doing hamstring stretches and hip stretches may relieve the pain. They may seem unrelated, but tight muscles in these areas can cause knee pain.

  • Check with your doctor

Speak to your doctor and check if you have any conditions that will limit your activities. For example, seniors with back pain are often told not to engage in activities like gardening because of the strain it places on the back.

  • Any stiffness?

Is there any part of you that feels stiff? Maybe you wake up every morning and your neck feels tight… or after sitting for a while, stretching your legs may seem difficult. All these are hints given off by the body telling you that these areas need more attention and stretching.

  • Do a few simple tests

Stand in front of a mirror and do a postural evaluation. Are you hunching? Are your shoulders drawn forward?

Can you bend forward and touch your toes? If you can’t, how far can you go? Your forward flexion is a good indication of how flexible you are. Do the same with a lateral flexion and extension — in other words, a side bend of your trunk and leaning backwards to see how far back you can go.

Are you able to clasp your hands behind your back? Can your head turn from side to side with maximum range of motion?

Ideally, you should have someone nearby to spot you. Since seniors may have balance issues, having someone by their side to help them out is an excellent idea.

  • Take notes

It’s best to write down notes on your range of motion so that you have some record to measure your progress. For example, if you can only touch your knees when you bend forward, after 3 months of daily stretching, you may be able to touch your toes. That is definitely progress.

The same applies to other movements like trunk rotations, hamstring stretches and so on. You can only know how far you have ome when you know where you used to be.

Once you embark on a stretching program, aim to do it at least 4 to 7 times a week. Stretching can be done daily. Over time you will see and feel the difference. Flexibility takes time, but with consistency, you will see results.

Read More:


Kelvin Teo also writes at Holistic Health Methods — a health and wellness blog focusing primarily on the topics of holistic health, home remedies and alternative therapies.

He is also the founder of Simply Coffee Mugs — a site where he shares his passion for everything coffee and mugs.

 

 

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