Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

3 Exercises That Can Help Seniors Stay Safe

by Stephen Silva

If you have a senior citizen in your life that you care about, you may be familiar with the concept of aging in place. More and more, seniors are choosing to remain in their homes as long as possible, instead of moving into nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Home health care agencies and assistive technologies can help seniors remain at home, but you may still have concerns about your loved one's safety because of the limited mobility and balance that comes with age. These simple exercises can help your senior stay safe in their homes.

Chair Aerobics

Chair aerobics is the perfect choice for a senior who already has limited ability. If your loved one uses a wheelchair, he or she needs their upper body strength to balance and transfer from bed to chair and from the chair to the toilet. Chair aerobics can improve both strength and balance.

Start by attaching a lightweight elastic resistance band to the senior's chair or to a solid object like the bed or the couch. The senior can perform chest presses, pulling the band tightly to the chest for a second or two and then letting go. It's best if you or your home health worker supervises this exercise.

Chair Yoga

Yoga is great for improving balance and relieving stress. Many simple yoga poses can be modified to allow seniors to perform them in a chair. Your loved one should start with simple neck rolls – these can be done by gazing up at the ceiling and slowly bringing the left ear down to the left shoulder, then the chin to the chest, then the right ear to the right shoulder. This can help relieve tension.

After that, the senior can move on to stretches that involve the back and shoulders, like the seated mountain pose and the seated eagle arm pose. These movements help with balance and breathing and stretch the arms, wrist, and back. These positions are safe for many seniors to perform without assistance.


If your senior loved one has access to a pool, either at home or in the community, swimming can be an excellent way for seniors to get exercise. The buoyancy of the water allows even seniors with arthritis to stretch and move without joint pain, which can help them remain limber and less likely to fall or strain their muscles.

If you have a senior loved one who's determined to age in place, encouraging them to exercise and making sure that they have regular visits from a home health care worker are some of the best ways to keep them safe and comfortable at home. For more information, speak with senior care in your area.