Can You Help Your Senior Become More Active?
By Kevin Edwards, President
Being more active is a goal for many aging adults. You as their caregiver might be able to do more than you think to help your senior to achieve this goal, but it can take some careful planning. Work with her medical team and with her existing situation to put together the right set of activities for her and you’ll get better results.
What She Eats Matters
When your elderly family member is eating foods that are higher in empty calories or worse, not eating much at all, then her body isn’t getting the fuel that it needs in order to function. Talk to your senior’s doctor about what types of foods might be best for her to be eating right now. In general, more fruits and vegetables are a great starting point.
Sleep Can Help Her to Be More Active
A lack of rest can keep your senior family member from feeling as if she has the energy to be active at all. Unfortunately, this can lead to a vicious cycle. Your senior’s energy is low, so she sits or lies around doing little to nothing, and then her energy levels keep plummeting. Getting a solid night’s sleep can help her to feel as if she can start to break that cycle.
Light to Moderate Exercise Is Enough
Exercise is a key part of this plan, but your senior doesn’t have to exercise too hard or for a really long time. Light exercise can be very much enough, especially if that’s what her doctor recommends. Work with her doctor to put together a plan that does everything that she needs it to do. Gentle walking on a treadmill may not sound exciting, but it can be just what your elderly family member needs right at the beginning.
Everything Works Together
All of these different pieces work together to help your aging adult to remain as vibrant and as active as she can. Some of these aspects may be more appealing than others to your elderly family member, but they can all help to improve the other activities. As she eats better and exercises more, her sleep will improve and she’ll be more likely to experience a shift in her appetite, too.
As your senior’s caregiver, you can do more than you think to help your elderly family member to increase her overall activity levels. She may not run around like a teenager, but she can feel a lot more involved in her own life.