Exercise is necessary for everyone, regardless of their age. For the elderly person, it can also add interest to their day and keep them engaged. Here’s how to help your parents stay active as they age.
Find Out what Level Of Exercise Is Appropriate
There are many important health and well-being reasons why the elderly should exercise. However, painful joints and reduced mobility may make them reluctant to even try. Start by speaking to your parents’ medical practitioner to establish what level of exercise is beneficial and safe for them. For example, a heart condition or recent surgery may place some limits on what they should do.
Encourage Your Parents
Make the time to explain to your parents why exercise is necessary and that it is vital to you that they live a long and healthy life. This reminder of their importance to their children can be the magic spark that encourages them. Make sure you back your words with regular visits and calls or this strategy won’t succeed.
Take note of what matters to your parents and incorporate this knowledge into enjoyable activities. If your mother loves cooking for her family, set a day once a week when the children come for a home-cooked meal. Most grandparents love spending time with their grandchildren and this will certainly keep them active. Arrange for your parents to babysit your children on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, provided they can cope with youngsters.
Propose family outings such as a day at the park. Use this time to connect with your parents as you stroll around the grounds together.
Physical Activity In An Assisted Living Facility
Perhaps your parents need to be moved from their home to an assisted living facility or retirement home, such as Belmont Village. Make sure that you choose, or help them find, a place that offers exercise and social well-being programs. These initiatives are usually geared towards the elderly and take into account their physical and health constraints. The exercises are designed to engage all parts of the body to improve mobility and range of movement.
If they offer pool aerobics, this is ideal. It is easier to move in water than on land and the resistance helps to exercise muscles. Better still, if you have a swimming pool at your home, watch this video with your parents and do the exercises with them.
Always keep in mind that human connections are what motivates people in life, and this is particularly true for the elderly. Never let them feel cut off from family and isolated in an institution. This, more than anything, will keep them exercising.
Help your parents to continue a social life and sustain their friendships. This may mean fetching your parents and their friends for a hosted tea at your home. Watch how lively and active they become as they interact and feel young again.
Discuss your parents’ interests with them and find groups that they can join. Whether this is bowls, golf, bird-watching, or less strenuous activity, the key aim is to keep them moving.
You and your children are the biggest reason your parents live for. Don’t ever forget this and you will be able to motivate them to take care of themselves.