Dementia and Exercise
Personal Training Client since 2016.
At 75 years of age he suffers from “Dementia-Like” Memory Loss.
Meet John 🙂 We've been working together since 2016. What you may not know is that at 75 years of age he suffers from memory loss (not specifically diagnosed as Dementia). As you can clearly see his balance and mobility is looking great on this half ball. He's an inspiration to those managing similar syptoms and those suffering Dementia-like symptoms.I'm very proud of him for remaining active. He's a pleasure to work with as he's very strong and always smiling. "He has more confidence going down the stairs. I can see it." His wife told me today.Keep up the good work John!
Posted by All Fit All Ages Gym on Tuesday, February 13, 2018
We all know it affects memory and mobility. As you can clearly see his balance and mobility is looking great on this half ball. The Doctors haven’t specifically diagnosed John as having Dementia. I refer to it as “dementia-like”. He does have memory loss and has a hard time remembering specific details. He’s highly functional when I ask him to demonstrate an exercise. He’s been managing these issues for a few years now. His wife brought him to meet me a few years ago. Reading one of my articles in the local newspaper, she expressed to me that she wanted to help her husband.
There’s something quite interesting about working with John. He’s fully functional. He’s fully mobile. He’s very strong. My experience taught me that I had to start with the bare basics. I wanted to examine if he’d remember specific movement patterns.
My purpose was to gradually incorportate multi-joint exercises. Why? Integrated movement with arms and legs posed more of a mental challege for John. In simple terms, I wanted to get him off machines as much as possible. Machines were a great way to develop strength. I wanted to make his brain work a little harder.
Between 2017 and 2018 you can tell I’ve added a few things. If you’re not an exercise professional, some it may look like Greek to you. The purpose was to show how in fact an exercise program must evolve in order to benefit someone. Even if John didn’t have these issues, I’d still be looking for ways to challenge him. The disease is irrelevant to me quite honestly. I look at the functionality of the the individual. I seek to improve what he finds challenging or at least make it more manageable so he doesn’t decline.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is this. Exercise will not cure those who have Dementia. It’s unrealistic to say otherwise as an educated professional. His wife mentioned to me today, “I noticed his confidence going down the stairs. I can see it.” While it may be a small feat to you and I, what this means for John and his wife is a better quality of life. It’s truly the little things that mean the most. I must give credit to John’s wife who keeps him active on a daily basis. That’s part of his success as well.
The body and mind are intimately connected. Therefore if one thing suffers, so does the other. I firmly believe in exercise for those managing neuroligcal issues such as Dementia. If your loved one is still functional and mobile , then he/she has every ability to stay that way. John could be anyone. He could be your spouse or your neighbor. He could be the bank teller or the postman. The point is that Dementia has many faces and many facets. Whomever you might be, there is hope to manage this disease. Exercise can be a big part of that.
Just look at John.