Exercise for elderly people with Down syndrome
The key features of the elderly apply for the comparable period of people with Down syndrome. These are cell atrophy, impaired metabolism (increased catabolism), reduction of the defense capacity of the organism, reducing healing processes and regeneration, degeneration of the nervous system.
The biological changes that occur with increasing age play a key role in the quality of physical – motor performance. Thus, the elderly are prone to disease, are more likely to suffer a fracture due to progressive osteoporosis, demonstrate a decrease of sensory functions of vision and hearing, more frequently heart attacks and strokes and malignant diseases.
In addition, they show a decrease in motor skills, as well as speed, flexibility, coordination and muscle strength decrease gradually.
Although overall life expectancy has improved, people with Down syndrome have even greater mortality at any age, compared with age-matched sample from the general population or compared with individuals with intellectual disabilities due to causes other than Down syndrome.
With age, the amount of people with Down syndrome is reduced, hypotonia is improving, muscular body mass is reduced and there is increased fat storage. Obesity, which displays high levels here, is a limiting factor because it greatly affects the activity of these individuals.
Thus, regular exercise (appropriate at least 3 times a week) helps older people with Down syndrome, because they are given the opportunity through exercise to be able to cope with the demands of everyday life and continue to maintain their social activities.
The realization and participation in activities such as motor sports, helps older people in one hand to feel independent, useful and capable in society, on the other hand gives them the opportunity to get to know younger or same age people and this has resulted in them to become increasingly social. The elderly should be part of motor programs, since changes made on muscle strength, endurance, coordination and movement of the joints have a direct impact on the daily life.
There are plenty of activities with many advantages for seniors with Down syndrome. Walking is an ideal exercise in parks or other places for example. Other activities include aerobics, various ball games, weightlifting and swimming. Within the pool they can walk and do various exercises to strengthen the muscles. Buoyancy of the water allows movement of muscles and joints, assisting or providing resistance resulting in prevent many injuries and safe strengthening. Water is the most appropriate environment for exercise, especially for groups, because the risk for falls is minimal.
Exercising in groups helps maintain relationships. Aerobic exercise, always tailored to the needs of older people with Down syndrome, gives them the opportunity to learn drills or do exercises having a goal and pace. Thus, gain physical strength, greater durability, better muscle strength and joint mobility.
In conclusion, exercise holds a key role for aged people with Down syndrome, as for the elderly in general. If there is not a health problem that makes the individual’s participation impossible for various activities, then this person has no reason to avoid exercise and not gain a complete active life.
…this article is provided by www.tiptonhomecare.co.uk