Tai Chi and Qigong, increasingly popular in retirement communities, is a series of integrated exercises including simple movements, gentle stretches, and meditation, all appropriate for most loved ones. Tai Chi is very joint-friendly and low impact, helping maintain balance and strength, can be done anywhere such as home or at a park, and can help maintain memory as the movements are performed in a specific sequence.
Check with community, senior centers, and fitness centers near your loved one to see if these types of activities are offered; sometimes, they will even be partnered with Silver Sneakers!
Swimming is already a popular activity among those looking for a full-body fitness challenge while taking it easy on joints and pre-existing conditions. The variety of activities possible in a pool is enormous and being in this environment is very forgiving for those prone to losing balance. If a slip occurs, laugh off the extra water splash! Swimming is incredibly joint-friendly due to the buoyancy of the water, provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, and can provide calming effects to the participant.
Classes also have the benefit of providing a social outlet, which, is just as important as physical health!
These activities should be done under supervision for appropriate safety. If your loved one was not a swimmer, swimming should not be picked as an activity for someone with Alzheimer’s, as teaching a new skill can be challenging, depending on the stage of dementia your loved one is experiencing.