Program Details
Exercises for Swollen Legs and Ankles

Many of your residents may be affected by swollen legs and ankles, a condition called edema. It is common in older adults, and can make moving around more difficult, make the lower body feel uncomfortable and heavy, and increase the risk of falling. Edema causes excess fluids to be pulled down by gravity into the legs, ankles and feet, building up in the lower body. It can result from a variety of health conditions too.

Thankfully, daily caring has put together three light exercises residents can do to reduce the swelling in their legs and ankles by getting the excess fluid flowing again!

Exercise 1: Ankle pumps

  • While laying down with feet elevated, point the toes towards your head and then away from your head.
  • 30 repetitions, 3 times a day are recommended.

Exercise 2: Glute Squeezes

  • While breathing slowly and deeply, tighten the glutes for a few seconds and release before the next repetition.
  • 10 repetitions, 3 times is ideal.

Exercise 3: Single Knee to Chest

  • While laying, bring one knee up to the chest and then return the leg to the flat position. The other leg should be slightly bent with the foot on the bed to take pressure off the back.
  • 10 repetitions, 3 times is adequate.

SAFETY FIRST! As with any exercises, it is essential to check in with your resident's doctor about performing them. Displacing fluid in the body might put extra stress on your resident's body that the doctor would be aware of. It is always best to err on the side of caution!

Hopefully, your resident feels much better after performing these exercises

Check out the original idea as well as a video here.

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