Mom's 90 and has had back pain for a few years. She's been prescribed exercises. How do I make her understand importance? - AgingCare.com

Mom's 90 and has had back pain for a few years. She's been prescribed exercises. How do I make her understand importance?

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has been prescribed walking & exercising. She takes,aleve & a muscle relaxer for the pain when she has problems with her back. Numerous exercise classes are offered where she lives that would strengthen her abdominals and other muscles and possibly help to eliminate the occurrences of back problems. My mother has never been a physically active person & I can't make her understand that just because she didn't have to exercise in the past she needs to consistently now if she is going to live without back pain. Other than this problem with her back her only other health,issues are that she takes medication for blood pressure& acid reflux. How do I make her understand that if she going to beat this back problem she needs to make exercise a priority for the rest of her life? I am not trying to train my mother for a marathon. I only want her to do what it takes to have as much quality of life as possible for as long as she is living. She is able to play bridge & even volunteers at our local hospital once a week but when her back acts up she wants to do nothing. Do you have any advice for me.

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Thanks to all of you who answered my question. I have already talked to the personal trainer that I use and am going to have her see my mother twice a week for the month of sept. plus she will set up a program of things for her to do on the days they don't meet. She also will make sure she is doing the exercises her PT gave her, correctly. My goal is to see for sure if consistent exercise is the answer to her problem. More than anything I need to take myself out of the equation. The constant fussing at my mother is ruining our relationship. Keep your fingers crossed and thanks again.
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My husband complains frequently of back pain. But he can't seem to do the exercises by himself, even with the written explanation. I think that's why he doesn't want to do them. If I tell him what to do, he thinks I'm nagging and resists. Sometimes we do them together, but that doesn't always work.
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BTW, this is not saying you need to do more. Gosh, we do enough already. I just wanted to suggest a couple of things that might work.
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So much depends on what is causing the back pain. Many women have trouble with spinal stenosis and degenerating discs. In this case, something stronger than Aleve may be indicated. My mother has stenosis, scoliosis, and degenerating disks and takes Tylenol III. It helps her a lot. It has codeine in it, but at her age we are more concerned about the pain than addiction. The only bad thing is that it contributes to constipation -- never welcome in the elderly.

She may be more open to back exercises and walking if she saw them as more pleasurable. I wonder if there is a video with music that makes her feel like she's part of a class. A good video makes exercise a lot more fun. I was thinking, too, that it would be wonderful if back exercises were offered at senior centers. Sometimes they offer exercise programs, e.g. chair exercises. I think back exercise would be great, too.

Back pain is a problem with seniors and it definitely steals the motivation to do things. If you're able to get the pain managed better, then make exercising more fun, she may enjoy it... or at least tolerate it.
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I don't know that there's much you can do to change such longstanding habits. I used to cajole, argue, and beg my dad to walk after his stroke (as his docs advised) - all to no avail. He did exactly what he wanted to do and lost some mobility as a result. It just made me angry that he wouldn't do what he needed to do to stay in good shape. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

The only other suggestion would be to have her doctor prescribe some physical therapy and if she feels better with that, maybe she'll want to continue with that kind of movement. Or hire a personal trainer for her, if you can afford that. Maybe the personal attention would get her going.
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