Getting an aging loved one to exercise can be difficult for the caregiver. The senior may fear injury, they may not feel well or maybe they have just become accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. Whatever the reasons for their reluctance, with the right encouragement, there are ways to help a senior loved one get on board with physical activity.
Goal Oriented Encouragement
The elder that has their own health and fitness goals is more likely to work towards them. When possible, the senior should be encouraged to set a goal and decide on how to reach it. For example, if your loved one is winded after climbing stairs, you can point this out and talk about how they can improve breathing and tolerance. Allowing the senior to set and focus on a goal serves as empowerment, which can motivate them to get moving!
As previously mentioned, the senior may be reluctant to become active due to any number of concerns. It is important that these be addressed. Take the senior that is already in pain from arthritis; they may be afraid that exercising will increase their levels of pain. Discussing the source of anxiety is crucial for participation. If the senior is still antsy about activity, the family may want to consider education either from a primary care physician, a geriatric or elder care specialist, or via pamphlets and videos on the web.
A Family Oriented Approach
One of the best forms of encouragement for some seniors may be having someone to participate and interact with during activities. Rather than sign the elder up for a class or supervise, family can join in as well. Even if the caregiver is already active, performing exercise with mom or dad can be a fun way to encourage participation. With this type of approach, your loved one may not view activity necessarily as exercise, but family time.
Not sure if you have time in your busy schedule manage daily exercise with your other caregiving and family obligations? No problem. Contact Home Care Assistance of Columbus today. We offer flexible hourly, overnight and 24 hour Columbus home care, ensuring the safety of seniors at home, while providing respite for their families providing care. Call 614-481-8888 for more information about our care services and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.