August 30, 2013

Ways To Help Your Elderly Relative Keep Active

Whilst having an active lifestyle may be very easy for some older people, others may struggle. Staying active is not just about physical exercise, it is also about continuing to have a regular social life, and practicing new and existing hobbies. In order to stay healthy, an older person needs to have a wide variety of activities planned throughout their week and may even need to make some important lifestyle changes. Here are some great ways for your elderly relative to stay active and comfortable in their daily life-

Get Physical

Even if an individual has never properly focused on exercising before, it is important that a special effort is made to keep fit in later life. Although older people are not able to take part in the rigorous exercise classes that some gym instructors offer, they can sign up for gentle classes that are highly beneficial and specifically tailored for their age group.

Leisure centres hold many exercise classes for a wide range of abilities, but when looking for classes for the elderly, you may want to look at what local community centres offer as they may provide a more comfortable environment.

Exercise the Brain

Maintaining a strong, healthy brain is equally important as physical exercise when aging. Ensure that minds stay quick and active by taking up hobbies that exercise the brain. Brain training activities like Sudoku, crosswords, and puzzles are great for keeping any mind fit and healthy. Those that are technology literate may even want to invest in some electronics that have programmes which are specialised in helping brains stay alert.

Reading is also proven to keep brains healthy and imaginative and is a brilliant activity to continue throughout your old age. Combining reading with a more sociable activity by visiting the local library with friends and family is a wonderful way to maintain an active lifestyle.

Stay in Touch

As we age, it is important not to slip into an unsociable way of life. As a family member, you should a special effort to ensure that your elderly relative does not feel isolated. Encourage your relative to continue visiting good friends and family as it is an easy way to stay active. Helping your relative to plan their week by using a social planner, or diary, will make it easier for them to stay in contact with others and going for lunches, walks, or galleries with friends and relatives adds variety to their weekly routine.

Feel Safe

Aside from the health issues, the main reason elderly people stop staying active is the fact that they no longer feel safe in their daily life. Safety may feel compromised due to a number of factors, including memory loss, fear of falls, and an awareness of an increase in person vulnerability. If your elderly family member appear to feel continually unsafe, and is therefore no longer continuing with their daily tasks, social activities and hobbies, then you may want to consider changes that make them feel more secure.

The feeling of safety can be restored by taking active measures to change the living arrangements of your elderly relatives. Moving your relative into supported sheltered housing could restore their sense of safety and therefore help them stay active. A sheltered accommodation will assist your relative in their day to day activities in their secure new home, allowing them to feel safe and relaxed and able to continue with their active lifestyle.

Beth Stubbings works for Abbeyfield, who provide comfortable sheltered housing in Bristol. She thinks that there are plenty of ways to help keep your senior family member active, safe and happy.

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