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I would like some exercises for my 80 yr old Auntie & I to do to maintain her level of fitness. She has spinal stenosis & peripheral neuropathy. Thanks - Karen

By Anonymous June 10, 2010 - 7:18am
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I am her sole caregiver & she is in the beginning stages of short term memory loss.

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Anon - Because of your aunt's age and medical conditions, it really would be best for her to see a physical therapist before starting any type of exercise program. Physical therapy practices do a complete evaluation to determine the areas in which a patient may have physical weaknesses and to determine where conditioning and strengthening are needed. They can then work with the patient on an individual basis to gradually improve their strength and endurance, and most often will also provide a printed set of home exercises for follow up. You seem to want the best for your aunt, and the best care for her would be to get the expert service of a trained physical therapist. Most regular exercise programs that are commercially available, or posted on the Internet, are for younger people with no health complications. Trying to adopt one of those programs for your aunt could hurt her, which I'm sure is the last thing you would want to do. Take care, Pat

June 11, 2010 - 5:16pm


How wonderful and loving of you to be your Aunt's caregiver and to be concerned about her level of fitness and health. Being a caregiver is not an easy job, and I hope that you are able to take time to care for yourself as well.

In terms of your aunt's fitness, I must ask if first you have been to her doctor with her to ask his or her opinion on exercise for your aunt? With the pressure on her spinal cord from the spinal stenosis and the nerve damage from the peripheral neuropathy, you need to proceed really carefully here.

Can you tell us a little more about your aunt's condition? For instance, with her conditiosn, how active is she? What level of pain does she experience? Does she have numbness in her extremities?

I am wondering if her doctor would recommend some light physical therapy for your aunt, to which you could accompany her and learn the exercises they recommend. Might this be a possibility?

Again, I think you are awesome to be concerned about this. I want to make sure you get going the right way.

June 11, 2010 - 8:30am
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