Walking is an excellent form of exercise for older adults. It can help prevent all kinds of illnesses. It also helps to manage weight and keep muscles strong. Although walking is generally safe in terms of being low impact and not harmful to joints, there are still some risks involved. But, by following some safety rules, your aging relative can stay safe while on a walk. Below are some safety tips to share with your loved one.
Talk to the Doctor First
Before the older adult starts a new fitness routine, it’s important to talk to the doctor about whether they are healthy enough for the exercise. Be sure to discuss any risk factors the senior may have for falling, such as medications that can cause dizziness or balance issues.
If the older adult has not been physically active for a while, they should start slowly. Set small achievable goals and help them work their way up to longer walks. Perhaps simply aim to walk around the block at first.
Whenever possible, older adults should stick to walking during daytime hours to improve their visibility and to make it easier for them to be seen. Brightly colored clothes are best during the day, such as hot pink or blaze orange. If they must walk at dusk or at night, they should wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
Use the Sidewalk
It’s best for seniors to walk in areas that have sidewalks or walking paths where they are safe from traffic. If they don’t live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, they may be able to use the track at the local high school or walk inside a shopping mall. If none of these is an option and they must walk on the shoulder of the road, they should walk facing traffic.
Older adults should remain alert while walking, being aware of people on bicycles and skateboards. They should avoid walking while using a cellphone. Ear buds and headphones for listening to music can make the walk more enjoyable, but they also put the senior at risk for not hearing what’s going on around them.
Don’t Walk Alone
Seniors should avoid walking alone. Find a walking buddy, such as a friend or family member. Elderly care providers can also be walking companions for older adults. In addition to keeping the senior safe during their walk, an elderly care provider can help them to get ready beforehand. An elderly care provider can make sure the senior is wearing comfortable shoes with good traction and brightly colored clothing. In addition, having the companionship of an elderly care provider can make walking more appealing, which makes it more likely your loved one will continue to walk for exercise.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elderly Care in St. Pete Beach, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.