I have a 74 year old male client who is awaiting a knee replacement (the other knee has already been replaced). He has had numerous surgeries (quadruple bypass, brain stem, removal of fluid from his knee, etc.) and is a real trooper. He cannot stand for very long so I have been doing most of my workouts with him in a chair. He would like to build more leg strength so he can stop using his walker and use a cane but it is very difficult to work his lower body with strength building exercises. Any suggestions on what I should be doing to (1) build his leg strength up and (2) keep him from getting frustrated until he gets his knee surgery?
I like all the answers above, I too have worked with an elder client that was mostly limited to a chair. I alternated legs and arms as to not tire his legs to quickly in a 30 minute session. I did not have access to a pool. I had him do sitting/standing squats as others suggested, I feel it is probably the number one exercise to keep geriatrics strong and mobile. I put a step on top of the bench to limit the range in the beggining. I put a squishy ball between his knees for the adductors, and used my hands or a band for the abductors. But one exercise I loved that I did not see above was chair walks. I used my office chair with rollers, and had him alternate leg pulls to pull the chair across the room for hamstrings, in the beginning I “pushed” a little from the back of the chair to assist, and before long, he needed no assistance! I also had him to leg extensions, holding isometrically to help quad strength. I would have him walk in between to build up stamina in his legs! And I assisted and stretched quads, hams, calves and hips, which are very tight at this stage! I hope this helps a little, nothing is more satisfying then working with seniors and increasing their longevity and mobility!