Stretching – Refer to the link “Seated Stretching Exercises” and try to do whatever you are able to achieve as a start. Have patience. Repetitions of the movements a few times a day will get you there.
Posture & Standing – Feet shoulder width apart – Very Important. Do NOT stand with the feet together and DO NOT WALK with the feet close together. THINK TALL & WALK TALL & SIT TALL. Let your care-giver prop you up with some cushions until you are able to sit upright with your head and chin in a relaxed normal position. Remember that no one can swallow if their chin is tucked in to their chest.
Standing from a sitting position – You must lean forward with the upper body to give leverage to the movement. It is impossible to stand up from sitting without leaning forward. You must then learn to squeeze the abdominal muscles – which is like putting a car in to gear – and then stand upright. This is also an excellent exercise for you to practice daily.
Walking – Walking practice on the Spot. Take a step Forward, then a step Backwards, then step to One side then to the other side. Lift the knee as high as possible off the ground for each step. You must keep your feet shoulder width apart at all times – whether sitting, standing or walking. When walking or turning on the spot – lift the knees to take the foot out of the way.
Using a Walker – Walk upright and don’t LEAN on the walker. This adds too much pressure on the handgrips and wheels and acts as a brake on the walker. The walker is there to provide comfort, protection, balance and a feeling of security.
Seated Leg Extension Exercises.
Seated Leg Raise Exercises.
Standing Alternate Leg Lifts.
Hand and Finger exercises using Rubber Ball.
Using a Tissue – Always place tissues either in your shirt pocket or in the sleeve of your shirt, for ease of use. When they are in your trousers, the pocket needs to be pried open before the tissue can be placed in to it or retrieved which is very difficult. You will need to lift your top or whatever and then pry open the trouser pocket before trying to put the tissue in or to remove it.
Saliva – See the information above on “Saliva”. It is very difficult to swallow if and when the head is bent forward and the chin is tucked into the chest. THINK TALL at all times – whether sitting or standing or walking. Try to keep the lips dry by swallowing more frequently. But remember that swallowing is only possible if the lips and teeth are shut closed. If the mouth is open, no one is able to swallow. Inhale frequently through the nose with steady big breaths. Use a large "bib". This will help to collect the saliva and keep the saliva from spoiling the clothing. Use an adjustable book rest when working at your desk or reading and writing. This will allow you to sit more upright, which will make swallowing easier and place less strain on the shoulder/neck areas.
Eating Habits – Take small mouthfuls and chew / masticate the food well before swallowing. Again, use a large "bib".
Sit on the Bed - Turn the upper body and the arms from one side to the other. Then as an advanced movement lie flat on the bed. Slowly move the arms over to one side and if possible turn the upper body as well. Then follow this by moving the arms to the other side with as much of the upper body as possible. This is an advanced exercise. You will need assistance. Do not extend further than is comfortable.
Writing – Try to write as much as possible. Use lined paper so as to write in between the lines with as large letters as possible. At the outset this may be illegible scribble. Don’t be put off. Persevere and you will be surprised how quickly your writing talents will return. Make notes of reminders lest you forget. This is a good habit for everyone. Have writing materials handy.
Please remember that these are not easy movements by any means. So go easy. Don’t force the movement and do not get frustrated.
Practice, Patience, Encouragement and even pictures to register progress are all very important elements to a steady advancement.