Staying Active As We Age
Some Bay Area seniors seem to be just as spry as they were when they were 30; for others, being active isn’t so easy due to limited mobility,
or other conditions that often affect seniors. Range of motion often changes, and for someone on a walker or cane it can seem impossible to stay active. How can you help an aging loved one?
First of all, keep in mind that physical activity is vital to good health and emotional well-being, often helping to stave off depression or even reduce the likelihood of falls or injuries. Here are some tips to help your loved one become more active, physically and socially.
Many seniors experience stiffness in the joints, arthritis, or conditions that require they use a wheelchair most of the time. Some suffer from COPD and simply cannot do strenuous exercise. Simple activities can help tremendously to improve mobility and reduce the pain of arthritis and don’t require moving from a chair.
- Moving the feet to “march in place” while seated
- Using soup cans or light weights to exercise arms
- Squeezing a soft foam ball between the knees or with the hands
- Flexing the wrists, ankles, knees, shoulders, hips, etc. while sitting
- Performing 8 or 10 light squats while holding the back of a dining room chair
For seniors who are mobile and can walk or get around fairly easily, active exercise is ideal for not only reducing the risk of falls, but improving blood sugar, blood pressure, and reducing body pain. It may be something as simple as taking a 10 to 20-minute walk several days a week, or participating in classes designed for seniors and offered at some gyms or senior centers. Another benefit of going to a senior center or fitness program designed for older adults is the social interaction. Making new friends and exercising with a group of people their own age boosts a senior’s emotional well-being, in addition to improving health.
Don’t let pain or mobility cut your loved one off socially
Regardless of the condition of an aging loved one, interacting with others and getting out and about is critical in terms of emotional well-being, mood, and even self-esteem. Seniors all too often become isolated, which results in depression in many cases. What can you do to help?
- Encourage getting out to have coffee with a neighbor or friend on a regular basis
- Take your loved one to a movie, play, or out to dinner – anywhere that doesn’t require a lot of walking or standing
- Consider participating in activities offered at the local senior center
- Go outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and surroundings – it can be as simple as sitting on the front porch for a while
The most important thing you can do is to be active with your loved one and encourage more activities. You want to move at a slow pace, and not overwhelm your aging mom or dad.
Whether your senior lives in San Jose, Walnut Creek, or anywhere in the Bay Area, staying active is important, regardless of fitness level. At Care Indeed, our in-home caregivers fully engage with clients, helping them live happier, healthier, more active lifestyles. Contact us today for all of your senior’s home care needs.
What Do Seniors Need for a Happier Life?
Unfortunately, many Bay Area seniors are lonely, depressed, and naturally unhappy, considering their lives have changed so much from their younger years when they worked, socialized, and had so much to keep them busy. It’s a part of life for those who are aging; sometimes those “golden” retirement years simply aren’t so golden. While Americans are free to pursue happiness, it isn’t a guarantee that life won’t be filled with boredom, sadness, or a sense of loss as we grow older. What are some of the simplest things that can result in a happier life? Our Menlo Park in-home caregiving agency has a few suggestions.
What do we all need in life when it comes right down to it? Something we enjoy to occupy our time and keep us busy, people to love, and something to look forward to. It’s easy to find yourself in a rut as you age, nothing to look forward to but the same old routine day after day.
Having someone to love is vital to health and happiness, whether it’s a spouse, child, grandchild, or even a special friend. Those who we love, and who love us in return, spend time with us, whether just enjoying memories or going out to dinner or a movie. Anything you do with someone you love is meaningful and brings joy to your life.
Having something to do is important, even if it isn’t particularly something you like or enjoy. Having a purpose gives you the incentive to get up in the morning, but having something you’re truly passionate about such as gardening, fishing, or even working a crossword puzzle, is even better. If you enjoy reading, crocheting, cooking, or just getting outdoors for a while with your pet, you have a purpose each day.
Having something to look forward to means an occasion or event that isn’t necessarily part of your everyday life. Perhaps you attend a book club each month, go to a tai chi class once or twice a week, or play bridge with a group of friends every now and then. The holidays, a grandchild’s birthday party, even going out to lunch or dinner with your family occasionally. We all need something to look forward to that’s one of those things you get to do, not a task you dread and have to do.
Whether you’re a senior in the Bay Area or an adult child who cares for your aging loved one, keep these simple things in mind. It can make the difference between a lonely life and one that’s filled with good days and happiness!
At Care Indeed, our Menlo Park home health care experts understand the challenges seniors face, not only physically but mentally. It’s vital to enjoy life to the fullest, regardless of age! For help from caregivers who are compassionate and want to help make a senior’s life easier, happier, and more fulfilling, give us a call today.