How Can Caregivers Keep Older Adults Active and Healthy at Home
May 12, 2020
Exercising at home
Aerobic activities can provide several health benefits such as increasing your stamina, warding off illnesses, reducing health risks, managing chronic conditions, and boost your mood. With so many wonderful benefits it’s imperative to remain active even while at home. These benefits will cause an older adult to retain their independence as they age.
Luckily, thanks to the internet, there are numerous exercise videos someone can follow along with at home. Caregivers can help older adults set up and follow along with the video. Exercise right along with them to add a social aspect to the activity and to motivate them to keep moving.
While exercising, make sure older adults are listening to their bodies. If they are thirsty, make sure to get something to drink. They do not want to become dehydrated while exercising Dehydration could lead to feelings of dizziness, fainting, and falling.
When you are exercising make sure there is something close by to lean on or grab hold of just in case they start feeling weak or slip. If it’s a chair, you want the chair to be up against a wall so it is stable and can hold their weight.
Strengthening your muscles can make everyday activities feel easier like picking up grocery bags, climbing stairs, and merely getting up from a chair. These exercises can be easily done at home with weights, resistance bands, and even your own body weight.
If you’re just starting out, use smaller weights in order to avoid injury. Using proper form with smooth, steady movements can also help. The same goes for resistance bands. These bands come in different strengths. Use a lighter strength band if you’re a beginner.
When strength training it’s important to breathe regularly — out as you lift and in as you relax. This keeps your oxygen levels even and keeps you from getting lightheaded.
Performing exercises that improve balance help older adults by decreasing the likelihood of falling. Tai Chi and Yoga are great examples of exercises that can be done at home to improve balance and keep older adults moving.
Tai Chi involves shifting the body slowly, gently, and precisely while breathing deeply.Tao Chi helps reduce falls, strengthens muscles in the legs, increases flexibility and stability, and improves core strength among other physical benefits.
Yoga is another exercise that can improve balance but can be difficult for older adults. Luckily, yoga can be performed using a chair, making it easier to perform because it does not require the person to lie on the floor.
Chair yoga can help with chronic pain and symptom management for health problems including arthritis, depression, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and a variety of autoimmune conditions.
Stay active while at home
It’s easy to forget how important regular exercise can be for a person, especially older adults. But by exercising at home you can make it a consistent routine without having to worry about going to a gym or other center.
As always, make sure to speak with an older adult’s physician before performing any exercise. Make sure they are physically able to complete the activity without hurting themselves further.