Jacqueline Green is a registered nurse and health visitor for Liverpool Community Health and has many years’ experience working with older adults. In 2013 she completed Amac’s e-learning chair-based Exercise Instructor qualification and has kindly provided insight into her experience of the effectiveness of chair-based exercises.
I have worked in many care homes and I strongly believe that chair-based exercise can and does improve the quality of life in older adults. Chair-based exercise is an excellent way to encourage physical activity as it is safe and effective and exercises can be adapted to suit the individual. Even frailer persons are not excluded from participating in chair-based exercise classes.
It always amazes me that even a small movement or action can have such a positive effect. For example; squeezing a ball with the hands doesn’t sound that impressive, however, when practised regularly over time it can improve the dexterity and strength of the fingers. It can also help alleviate pain and stiffness caused by arthritis and other common conditions associated with aging. These simple exercises can have a noticeable impact a person’s ability to grip objects and carry out everyday tasks such as holding cutlery, and opening doors; all things that we too easily take for granted.
As well as the physical advantages of chair-based exercise I cannot stress how important the social impact of group exercise is for frail, older adults. Social isolation can be a real problem for older people, and the opportunity to meet up with others for a regular class really gives them something to look forward to. I personally have found that it brightens peoples’ weeks, gives them the ‘feel-good factor’, and makes them smile; the secret is to keep the session fun and light-hearted.
Find out about Amac’s Chair-based Exercise Instructor course