Elder Care in Phoenix AZ
Does your elderly parent participate in some kind of exercise plan every day, or at least several times a week? If so, that’s great, but there are some folks who just find the thought of exercising daunting and, therefore, don’t do it. Yet, they know they should do something because all the evidence out there suggests those who exercise are usually better off than those who don’t.
When setting fitness goals, the person you’re providing care for should line them up with their age and abilities. If your parent is 70, they’re not going to run miles, for example, like they perhaps did in their 40s or even 50s. They should evaluate their overall health and focus on what’s important to them. Help them set diet and exercise goals that are achievable. Otherwise, they’re just setting themselves up for failure and will dislike exercising more than they perhaps already do. The most important step to this plan is to meet with their health care provider and determine what they can safely do.
Help them regularly review and readjust their goals. Life sometimes deals us setbacks, keeping us from doing what we had set as a goal. Your loved one needs to be flexible enough to adjust their goals as their situation may change. They should be in the moment on their health journey.
Likewise, an unexpected change in weather or your parent’s schedule can throw a monkey wrench into their plans and goals. Help keep them from getting discouraged if there are setbacks like these, or perhaps a change in their health that may temporarily sideline them. Equally important is helping them get back on track once they are ready to resume their workout schedule.
Encourage them to follow these four steps:
Walk, walk, walk. Walking is a wonderful, inexpensive exercise that can be done rain or shine. Outdoors so many different sights can be taken in and your parent can really become one with nature. During periods of inclement weather, walking can be done on a treadmill, though there are some models that have programs on them that let you walk virtually in different locales, almost as if you were walking outside. Walking is pretty easy to stick with and is a sustained workout that increases the heart rate and build cardiorespiratory endurance.
Work the muscles. Most adults don’t do enough resistance or weight-related exercises to counteract the loss of muscle mass that comes naturally with aging. As a result, frailty, loss of mobility, weak bones and falls and fractures can more easily occur. Doing wall pushups or rising from a chair in sets of 10, a couple of times twice a week can help keep muscles toned.
It’s also important to build balance and agility. Start by stretching, then stand on one foot for 20 seconds, walk heel to toe for several steps and repeat. For agility, walk in a figure eight around two chairs, then reverse direction, or try walking backwards.
If bored doing things by themselves, consider suggesting a home care provider for your senior loved one. They can provide both motivation and companionship during their workouts.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Phoenix, AZ, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at (480) 725-7002.
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