More than 54 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis. Of those adults, 43.5 percent cannot manage their normal activities. If you look at the things people say they have a harder time doing with arthritis, properly holding small objects, lifting or carrying more than 10 pounds, moving heavier objects, standing, and squatting are challenges.
Arthritis can affect any joint, but hands are one of the most common. If your dad has arthritis in his fingers or wrist, exercises are important. He needs to keep those joints as limber as possible. One of the best ways to exercise those joints is by making bread.
How Does Baking Bread Help?
To make bread, you need flour, yeast, and water. That’s all that’s needed for a basic loaf of bread. You may find other recipes that require milk, whole grains, fruit, nuts, etc. No matter what type of bread you’re making, yeast is what helps it become light and fluffy.
Flour contains protein. Add water and that flour and water mixture develops gluten. That’s what creates your elasticity and strong exterior. Something needs to make the mixture develop the air holes that help the dough become pillowy and light. That’s where yeast comes in.
Yeast and gluten have to bond in such a way that it builds additional gluten and helps them knit together. Done correctly and the crust is going to be crispy while the interior is light and fluffy. Kneading is the way to get the yeast and gluten to form that proper bond.
How Do You Knead?
Kneading helps form the dough that’s perfect for bread. It also exercises the wrist and fingers. How do you knead dough? When you use a stand mixer, food processor, or wooden spoon to mix flour, water, and yeast, you end up with a ball of dough.
Turn that dough out onto a smooth surface and use the wrists to push it away from you. As you pull it back, use your fingers to pull the farthest edge back over the top. This process keeps working the dough from top to bottom and one side to the other. Every grain of flour in the dough gets a workout this way.
Kneading isn’t a quick and easy process. Most recipes require 10 minutes of kneading. Your dad may need someone to take over for him. You can take turns to prevent him from overdoing it.
When your dad is baking bread, you may not be available. That’s okay. Elder care services are there to help your dad. He can have a caregiver join him each afternoon or a few times a week. Caregivers can join him when it comes to making bread and cooking meals. Call an elder care agency to learn how to arrange home care.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Diamond Bar, CA please contact the caring staff at Motherly Comfort Home Care, LLC today at (909) 610-3222.