Moving a little more regularly can be hugely beneficial for your elderly family member, but it helps to have some rules of engagement in mind so that she doesn’t get hurt.
Double Check that it’s Safe for Her to Exercise
The very first thing that you need to do before helping your senior to start a new exercise program is to talk with her doctor. This is going to help to make sure that it’s safe for her to move more and in a variety of ways. Her doctor may have a recommendation also about the types of exercise your senior should consider.
Boredom Isn’t Required
Lots of times exercise equates to boring activities, but that’s not how your senior really has to look at exercise. The entire goal is for your elderly family member to move more and having fun is a pleasant side effect of that. Look for activities that your senior already enjoys or that she’s highly likely to enjoy. Experiment a bit and find combinations she likes.
Slow and Steady Is Always Better
There doesn’t have to be any reason for your senior to be setting new world records with any of these activities. Again, it’s not about her doing a lot, it’s about her being a little more active. There’s a big difference in the focus involved in each of those goals, and that difference greatly affects what your senior does and how she does it.
Consistency Is Super Important
What really matters is that your elderly family member is actively doing what she can to become consistent with moving more. That is going to give her much bigger payoffs than wearing herself out or trying to do more than she’s able to do on a regular basis. Even if she’s only able to spend a few minutes stretching, but she does that every day, she’s going to see results.
She May Need or Want a Buddy
Having an exercise buddy might be more about safety than anything else for your elderly family member. If she has friends or family members who want to exercise with her, that is a great idea. Another idea could be to have elderly care providers available during her exercise time. They can offer her companionship, but also peace of mind because she’ll know that someone is there with her.
Keeping your elderly family member healthy and safe is your biggest goal as a caregiver and when she’s moving a little more regularly, that’s a lot easier.