Movement, mobility and posture are all important when it comes to an aging in place senior’s quality of life. Far too many elderly Americans live sedentary lifestyles because of poor mobility and other movement and posture-related challenges. On the other hand, researchers have shown that seniors who remain mobile and active tend to live healthier and more productive lives. If you’re currently caring for an aging in place elderly loved one, here are some ways to keep them more active which will ultimately benefit their movement, mobility and posture.
These Can Cause Inactivity
There are several factors that can slow down a once-active senior, including:
- Bone loss due to aging or osteoporosis
- Poor joint flexibility and joint discomfort
- Chronic back and neck pain from an injury or arthritis
- Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders
- Poor balance and coordination
If a one or more of these mobility issues is keeping your senior from staying active, being sedentary will eventually place their independence at risk as even the simplest activities of daily living become nearly impossible to perform.
How Can I Keep a Senior More Active?
If your loved one’s physical and mental health are still good based on a doctor’s evaluation, here are some activities they can participate in that will benefit their movement, mobility and posture:
Tending to flowers, fruits and vegetables takes certain body movements, including squatting, lifting and reaching. As a result, those gardening activities help keep a senior’s body stronger and more limber. Eating the resulting fruits and veggies will also promote a nutrient-rich diet that will lead to healthier muscles, bones and joints.
A daily stretching program that includes the hips, neck, shoulders, chest, lower back and legs will go a long way in improving your senior’s posture. Studies have found that range-of-motion stretching exercises also provide benefits like:
- Increased blood circulation to joints and muscles
- Relieving muscle soreness and tension
- Improving balance and coordination
- Boosting self-esteem and sense of wellbeing
Swimming and water aerobics are excellent low-impact forms of exercise for seniors because the water comfortably supports their body weight, placing very little stress on joints and bones. Aquatic activities like swimming and water aerobics build muscles, strengthen the heart and increase range of motion.
Yoga and Tai Chi
Practiced for thousands of years, Yoga is a low-impact mental and physical form of exercise that keeps seniors fit while improving flexibility, balance, core muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance. Practicing Yoga regularly can even increase a senior’s bone density. Tai Chi is another similar type of exercise, and most fitness centers have designated Yoga and Tai Chi classes for older participants.
Taking a daily walk for 20 to 30 minutes is a great way to improve an elderly person’s mobility and posture. That’s because walking’s continuous movements gently work muscles and connective tissues in the knees, feet, ankles and hips. For bad weather days, set your loved one up with a home treadmill or find them a nearby gym. To further improve their posture, teach your senior to walk with their shoulders back, chest forward and chin up and out.
This is an aerobic activity that also improves mobility by strengthening the lower body without stressing a participant’s joints. Indoor cycling has been shown to enhance cardiovascular endurance, along with knee, hip and ankle joint flexibility. There are probably indoor cycling classes available for seniors of various fitness levels in your area.
We Help At-Home Seniors Stay Mobile and Active
Keeping an aging in place loved one mobile and active can be difficult when you’re short on time or live far away. When you need a hand, contact First In Care. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, our highly trained caregivers know how to keep seniors mobile and active so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. Our carefully screened aides can perform in-home duties like light housework, personal hygiene, meal preparation, grocery shopping, medication reminders, transportation and companionship.
And, all our family trusted companion and home health services can be individually combined into an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about First In Care now, or to schedule a FREE, in-home care assessment for a senior in Manatee County, FL, today, please visit us at: www.firstincare.com.