The process of aging takes an undeniable toll on a body. Does that mean, however, that an active lifestyle is no longer an option for your loved one?
The answer to that question is a definitive "no." In reality, leading an active lifestyle can be more important than ever as people age.
The Benefits of Exercise and an Active Lifestyle
HelpGuide.org's "Exercise and Fitness as You Age" observes: "Regular exercise can help boost energy, maintain your independence, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. Exercise can even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. And not only is exercise good for your body, it's also good for your mind, mood, and memory."
In addition to structured exercise like weight training or cardio, seniors can derive much benefit from simply maintaining an active lifestyle. Taking a walk in the park, gardening, and generally moving more are all ways to tap into the body's potential to heal and support itself both physically and mentally.
Is Exercise Safe for Seniors?
One of the biggest concerns seniors face as they contemplate starting an exercise program or becoming more physically active is the worry that injury will occur. This is a valid concern, as balance and coordination begin to wane in senior years.
However, in reality, it is inactivity that is often the riskier behavior. The National Institute of Health notes: "Studies show that "taking it easy" is risky. For the most part, when older people lose their ability to do things on their own, it doesn't happen just because they've aged. It's usually because they're not active. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses."
Understanding that the potential for injury exists can help seniors to avoid it. Physical activity as people age requires some careful forethought. A basic understanding of your loved one's physical limitations can help you help him or her to avoid injury. Additionally, your loved one's physician or a physical therapist can provide information about ways to stay safe while pursuing an active lifestyle.
How Home Healthcare Can Help
Home healthcare workers can be invaluable to seniors wishing to maintain a more active lifestyle. Home care workers spend time with their clients, helping in practical ways with mobility issues, nutritional issues, and other health concerns that could potentially derail your loved one's ability to remain active.
Would your senior benefit from a regular walk in the park? A home care worker can make that possible by accompanying him or her, providing support where needed. Perhaps your loved one wants to attend a structured exercise class. Home care workers can provide transportation and ensure the safety of your senior at every stage of the journey.
Sometimes, your loved one may be reluctant to try new things and may be resistant to your efforts to encourage regular physical activity. In this case, a home care worker can be of immense help. By talking calmly and reasonably with your loved one, a good home care worker can sometimes discover the factors which are contributing to your senior's reluctance to become more physically active.
Home healthcare workers provide encouragement and practical tips to help those with mobility issues maintain an active lifestyle.
By building a rapport with your senior, a home care worker may be able to encourage increased physical activity in subtle but useful ways. In many cases, seniors look forward to enjoying a walk or doing some other physical activity, once they have the assurance that a qualified professional is available to offer support and ensure their safety.
The health benefits of regular physical activity are evident at any age. If your loved one would benefit from the encouragement and support a home healthcare worker will provide, please contact us today to begin a conversation about your senior's unique physical challenges and needs.