Increased Mobility in Seniors Means Longer Independence, Increasing Quality of Life
We want, even need, our loved ones with us, and near us, for as long as humanly possible. Senior living, and our worrying about those seniors, can be hectic. It can be difficult. But time with them can be so incredibly rewarding. It’s our job to do what is best for their safety and comfort. Their dignity and quality of life can weigh heavy on our thoughts as we make decisions, create plans, and spend time together.
To maintain our loved one’s health, we should encourage them, as well as ourselves, to get as much exercise as we can, while we can. Not only will this keep all of us feeling younger, but we can also remain more independent and in control of our own lives. And that is exactly what all of our seniors want, their power back.
Seniors Need to Exercise
The premise is pretty straightforward: longer mobility leads to longer independence in our seniors, whether they are in skilled facilities or nursing homes. The setting may not matter when the goal is more freedom and a stronger sense of independence, which can lead to a much younger and more active lifestyle.
In general, many of us, no matter our age, are starting to live more sedentary lives than ever before. This means that our elderly family members are too. Though, while we are more sedentary, we are also just as busy as ever. There’s always too little time and too much to do and we have to work to keep ourselves moving, as well as our parents and grandparents.
An early start at a healthier lifestyle is best, but starting anytime is great, as long as you start and keep going. We have to increase our intensity and our independence, not decrease them. As our society ‘progresses’ toward a more sedentary lifestyle, how can we help our seniors safeguard against a loss of mobility?
How Can We Help Keep Them Moving?
They need our encouragement and support if we want them to keep moving and grooving along with us for just a little longer. But there are many ways to keep our loved ones moving and they would love it if we could join them as much as we were able. We are here to encourage.
- Ensure that your loved one has a workout partner or companion if needed.
- Walk as much as they can. If walking is difficult, standing still will help tremendously.
- Create physical exercise around a beloved hobby.
- Introduce them to exercise apps and show them how to turn on their favorite music.
- There can be little setbacks, but that doesn’t mean quitting. Encouragement is key.
- Ensure that their shoes fit, their glasses prescription is up to date, and keep them moving.
Online senior support groups are available to share exercise modifications, encourage each other, and provide accountability. It gives them a social outlet and peer support, all of which decrease depression and increase energy production. Our seniors benefit from exercising in so many different ways that not all can be listed. These same benefits are so complex that they can’t be labeled or assigned.
What are the Benefits of Senior Exercise?
Nurses who work with your loved one can compartmentalize their help and identify the exact areas that need improvement for a freer, more independent life. If one a nurse were to notice that your loved one is having balance issues, then they would work with the doctors, occupational therapists, orthopedic doctors, and physical therapists on coming up with a plan to increase balance, giving your loved ones dignity and self-sufficiency.
Barriers are crossed, goals are reached, and fears are overcome with each upgrade in their independence. The barriers, goals, and fears are all intertwined. Increase your strength in one, you increase your capabilities in all others.
According to the Gerontology researchers at the National Institute on Aging:
Each service builds on the others by increasing the participants’ capacity to function at home. This may decrease hospitalization and nursing home stays by improving medication management, problem-solving ability, strength, balance, mobility, nutrition, and home safety, while decreasing isolation, depression, and fall risk.
Nursing homes, skilled communities, and retirement communities aren’t necessarily permanent. The level of care that your loved one receives while a resident is not set in stone. With the right practices and a trusted team, your loved one may be able to regain some of the skills they have lost as they aged and become more self-sufficient than they ever thought they would again.
Tips For Combating Mobility Loss
Helping someone work towards increasing their quality of life and reaching their goals is a great gift when you want more time to spend with those you love. Objects in motion stay in motion and, without encouragement, routine, and stability, that object will slow, stop, and remain there. But how can
- Concentrate on steadying balance and strengthening their core.
- Strength exercises to maintain and build strength.
- Create a routine around physical exercise (It’s more difficult to give up).
- Understand that using canes, walkers, and other ability aids to mobilize is not a step-down but an enhancement.
- Create enough room in the home to move around, walk, exercise, and dance.
- Respond to your boundaries, but do not cross them.
- Remember, the goal is BALANCE, in doing what you can to increase it.
Balance keeps us from falling. A strong core helps our muscles stay in shape and increases our flexibility and metabolism. Our seniors can lose their mobility so quickly if we aren’t careful. In fact, the rates of loss can be pretty dramatic.
Prevent Further Mobility Loss With More Mobility
Prevent further mobility loss in our seniors with more mobility, an increase in flexibility, and a great attitude. Your loved one deserves a home where they are supported and encouraged to continue living their best lives.
Stonegate Senior Living Centers in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado are just a few clicks away at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact us to schedule a tour of our nearest community and learn more about our senior living options and a variety of family resources created with your needs in mind. Increasing mobility is just a small taste of what we have to offer.