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4 Alternative Stroke Therapies for the Elderly

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

If you are providing Palm Beach stroke care for an elderly loved one, it’s likely you are already familiar with the more common treatments for strokes. However, there are many other therapies that can be effective in helping with recovery and make excellent supplemental treatment for more traditional stroke therapy. Here are just a few of those options.

1. Massage

Many elderly people experience pain and anxiety after having a stroke. According to a study by researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, seniors who received a 10-minute slow-stroke massage prior to going to bed reported significantly lower pain levels and anxiety. Additionally, participants also experienced a reduction in their blood pressure and heart rate, which can help reduce the risk of a stroke occurring again. Researchers believe massage increases the blood flow to the areas affected by the stroke, thus reducing pain.

2. Video Games

Playing video games as a part of stroke rehabilitation can help increase your loved one’s motor function. A 2011 article posted on Science Daily reported seniors who played video games were 5 times more likely to have increased arm function versus those who only participated in standard rehabilitation without video games. As an added bonus, playing video games together can be a great way for your loved one to spend time with his or her grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

3. Yoga

Not only does yoga help increase strength and flexibility in seniors, it helps increase balance and mental function in those who have had a stroke. A study published in the 2012 issue of Stroke found seniors who participated in yoga increased their balance and speech skills. Seniors also reported feeling more relaxed and less anxious after participating in yoga. Check with your loved one’s local senior center to see if yoga classes are offered that he or she might be interested in taking. 

4. Music Therapy

If your loved one is having difficulty with his or her motor skills and speech after experiencing a stroke, many experts recommend music therapy. Music therapy can help your loved one regain movement and enhance his or her speech through hitting drums, singing, and moving to the music. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy can also relieve depression and anxiety, which are common following a stroke.

To learn more about caring for a senior during stroke recovery, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our hourly and live-in caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with exercise and mobility, provide transportation, and help with a wide array of daily tasks around the house. For more information on elderly home care Palm Beach families trust, call one of our Care Managers at 561.429.8292 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.