How to Get Your Senior Loved Ones Moving in the New Year

Posted: 1/28/2019 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
Losing even a few pounds can make a dramatic impact on ailments like heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, among many others. While it can seem challenging for seniors with a bevy of health problems to become more active in an effort to lose weight, it is an important step for health and longevity as we age. Not only does exercise burn fat and calories, but it also supports stronger muscles and joints, improved mobility, and increased safety.

As a caregiver, your role is critical. Your support and help can be the difference between a missed goal and success (plus the improved health that comes along with it). 

These caregiver tips can help your senior loved ones get more active and healthy in the new year:
  1. Talk to a doctor. This should be the first step for anyone starting an exercise or diet program, but it’s especially important for seniors. Start by talking to their doctor about their health and any conditions they have that might impact their ability to pursue physical activity safely and healthily. Ask for recommendations for the types of activities that are safe for your parent, as well as how much of this activity is right for them and their needs. Another important question pertains to medication. If your loved one exercises (and also includes dietary changes), he or she may need to have medications reduced or even eliminated. It’s important for doctors to monitor those situations closely. 
  2. Avoid too much activity, too fast. When we exercise, we feel good! Sometimes this means “newbies” want to jump in and take on the world right away. Doing too much activity too quickly can lead to injury or even overload, dissuading your loved one from continued commitment to exercise. A better option is to start slow and encourage gradual progress and increased challenges.
  3. Choose the right activities. This is true at any age, but it’s particularly important for seniors. Find activities that your loved one enjoys! Formal exercise is great, but all it takes is moving to start building muscle, burning fat and increasing mobility. Encouraging your parent to find and pursue activities they enjoy is also an important way to help them follow through with these activities more often. 

We can help keep your loved one moving (and healthy!).

On one hand, you may be excited to read this article and help Mom or Dad get onto a path of movement and health. On the other, committing to an exercise program is time- and energy-intensive. You may feel stressed or overwhelmed at the thought of ramping up efforts for your loved one (and guilty about that stress).

Interim HealthCare can help you provide the best care to your loved one. An elderly home care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, supplement the care you give, offer companionship and encourage your parent to be as independent and in control of their life as possible. 

When it comes to you and staying physically active, that's going to include support to manage mobility issues, safe and reliable transportation that two activities, and other support to help your parent feel more confident getting out and enjoying a more active lifestyle as they age. 

Contact your nearest Interim HealthCare office to learn about how we can help YOUR Mom or Dad.