Thanks to advancements in medical treatments and better care, the elderly can expect to live much longer than only a few short years ago. However, there is still a myth that these very same lives need to “slow down” as the years progress. It is true that the body is affected by the natural aging process, but this is different for us all and also depends on our physical health, but there are things we can all do to help manage this to keep as active and well as possible. You may be surprised to learn that there are a number of excellent activities that can be provided to your loved ones. What are these activities and how are they able to keep us all so very young at heart as we age?
Chair based exercises
Those who don’t regularly exercise will experience a decrease in their muscle strength and mass and general flexibility over time. Not only does this affect overall levels of strength, but injuries and falls are much more likely. Chair based exercises are an excellent way to avoid this situation from the comfort of one’s own home. The home is a great place to start, for it is a familiar location and progress can be made at individual levels. We are more than happy to provide this service to our elderly clients.
Exercises provided by a physiotherapist
Motivation to do these is often low, and for people who live alone, not having someone to prompt and remind to do them can be a reason for them being forgotten. Also, some people do not feel safe if they have to do them alone, the importance of doing the exercises cannot be overstated, so do them with your family member. The physiotherapist will be more than happy to demonstrate to you how to do them safely.
It is no secret that stretching is another excellent way to keep fit for the young and the old alike. Again, this is very easy to be performed within the home. Not only does stretching help to protect the joints, but better levels of balance are another benefit that we should not forget. We will address each need on a personal basis and many will be surprised at just how much progress they can make within a short period of time. Stretching will also increase the blood flow to areas of the body such as the arms, legs and feet.
Other physical activities
Knitting or crafts that help to keep fingers and hands supple, and is particularly good for people with arthritis or hand injuries, or if hands are too sore to manage that a soft, squeezy ball is really helpful.
We firmly believe in the expression “young at heart”. The mind and the body should both be addressed. For those who are physically limited in terms of what they can do, why not work the mental muscles instead? The results can be just as amazing. Let’s have a look at a few examples that are proven to have a very real impact.
Group memory exercises with friends and family will help to keep an older mind feeling youthful. We can think of this as “stretching” for the brain. Additionally, home care can be a pleasure if games such as chess or checkers are included. The main idea here is to keep minds thinking and active. A positive mental outlook is just as important in terms of physical health as well. The mind and body are one.
Puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku and word searches all help with mental agility as does watching the perennial favourite; Countdown!
Quality of Life
All of these concepts revolve less around medical concerns and more around the quality of life and the happiness that we aim to provide. Contentment and freedom are two of the best treatments in the world for countless of age-related ailments. By achieving both, longer and more productive lives can be enjoyed.