Dementia Exercise Programs Increase Abilities and Improve Symptoms

dementia exercise programs

Dementia exercise programs improve cognitive symptoms

A new dementia exercise therapy program helps seniors with dementia improve cognitive function, reduce depression, improve balance, and improve ability to perform everyday tasks.

Love to Move is a chair-based exercise program designed for seniors with dementia. It was developed by the British Gymnastics Foundation (BGF) and inspired by successful programs in Asia.

We explain what the Love to Move program is and how the exercises improve dementia symptoms. We also share the free instruction booklet BGF created so you can do these simple exercises with your older adult.




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How the Love to Move program helps seniors with dementia

Experts in Japan created chair-based dementia exercise programs to improve the lives of nursing care residents with dementia. The simple exercises were based on cognitive stimulation, memory arousal, and music.

The results were so positive that the program won full state funding and is now used in every care home across the country.

The BGF was so inspired by the Japanese program’s success that they worked with the program leaders to design UK-based dementia exercise programs using those same principles.

BGF’s pilot program showed amazing results in seniors with dementia:

  • 71% of participants had noticeable physical improvements
  • 86% were socializing more with other residents and staff
  • 93% seemed happier and more settled
  • 100% were easier to connect with

 

Why exercises for dementia improve ability to perform everyday tasks

The Love to Move program is based on the concept of performing different movements with the right and left sides of the body at the same time. Basically, it’s like when you pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.

These types of exercises take a lot of concentration. When you practice, it increases the ability for the right and left sides of your brain to process information independently of each other. This increases the number of neural connections and increases cognitive ability.

The Love to Move exercise program has increased seniors’ ability to perform everyday tasks like feeding themselves, engaging in activities, and communicating with family and friends. Coordination and ability to sit unassisted in a chair was also improved.

 

Simple at-home dementia exercise programs

The BGF created a free booklet with 4 essential exercises from the Love to Move program so older adults everywhere can benefit from this program.

It includes straightforward instructions, example photos, and special tips from head coach Kim Hall on how to make the exercises easier and more effective. Print or save the booklet and give these exercises a try with your older adult!

 

Next Step  Print or save the free British Gymnastics Foundation chair-based dementia exercise program (PDF)

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center

 

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