Physical activity is always good for us — no matter our age. As we grow older and encounter different health infirmities, we may lose some of our ability to exercise as vigorously as we once did. Even so, it remains important to take some opportunities for physical activity, which can enhance our physical and mental fitness while also improving our quality of life.
For those who are caregivers of older parents or family members — in particular those with dementia — it’s a good idea to schedule some time for physical activity over the course of the day. This may not mean a trip to the gym or anything particularly robust, and indeed, it’s important to take into consideration health conditions that might limit the ability for physical movement such as problems with the heart, lungs, joints, and bones.
One good way to approach finding physical activities is to go somewhere that offers organized recreation for senior citizens. Some YMCAs and gyms offer classes, as do adult day cares and senior centers. The options may range from simple ball games to chair-based exercise. Ultimately, anything that gets the body moving and keeps the mind engaged is going to be helpful.
If you want to facilitate some exercise at home, remember that it doesn’t have to involve athletics per se. Gardening can be an excellent, age-appropriate form of exercise. Dancing is great too. Swimming and walking are both excellent forms of physical activity, and also low-impact. Chair-based exercise can be done at home, too; find some YouTube videos that will demonstrate a few different moves.
No matter how you decide to encourage exercise, try to keep your loved one active, in a manner that isn’t overly taxing or strenuous. A little movement can go a long way, and promote health of the body and the mind.
Contact us today to learn more about care options for your loved one with dementia.