Spring is in the air in Minnesota!
As we start to enjoy the warmer weather, it’s also a perfect chance to re-evaluate the activity level of your elderly home care client. The benefits of regular physical activity include an increased energy level, better emotional and social health, weight management, and even decreased pain as joints and muscles gain flexibility and strength.
Getting out and about is easier in the spring and summer, so check out these five ideas for getting active with your loved one this spring.
Important note: Make sure you consult with your client’s physician before beginning any new physical activities. Be safe!
How to Improve An Elderly Home Care Client’s Activity Level
Idea 1: Go For Walks
The simplest way to get more active is by taking regular walks. Start small, with a trip around the block, before tackling more adventurous walks around the neighborhood or driving to a local walking path.
Walk at a brisk pace if physically possible, but remember to take breaks, especially when starting out. Make sure you grab a water bottle before you head outside! Finally, set goals with your elderly home care client. If today’s goal is a 10-minute walk, see if you can work slowly up to a 1-hour walk by the end of the summer.
Idea 2: Try Water Aerobics
Low impact workouts are a fantastic way to increase energy while being gentle on joints and muscles. Many gyms, fitness facilities, and schools offer low-impact water classes for seniors.
Why water? Besides the low-impact benefits for joints, water helps muscles work with a greater resistance level than what is manageable on land.
Idea 3: Work on Flexibility
Any idea on this list will become easier as your client’s flexibility is improved. Flexibility training can be simple – intentional daily time with simple stretches – or more complex, such as attending a local yoga or pilates class targeted to your client’s ability level.
You can also help your client with these stretches! Make it fun with upbeat music, and do the stretches alongside your client if possible. Here is a list of simple stretches to try, courtesy of Silver Sneakers.
Idea 4: Tackle Strength Training
Working on building and maintaining muscle tone is important for older people, so that they can preserve their quality of life. Make sure you and your client consult with an expert, such as an athletic trainer, before beginning a new strength training program.
Once a customized plan is put into place, you can help your client with a few very simple tools, such as light weights and/or resistance bands. You can even substitute soup cans or water bottles for weights!
Once again, Silver Sneakers has some great resources for strength training.
Idea 5: Check Out YouTube Workouts
Ready to change it up? YouTube offers a wealth of resources for simple, fun workouts geared towards elderly home care clients. This popular video provides a great example of the types of modified workouts you can try with your aging home care client.
This is another idea that you can implement alongside your client! Try the workout together, laugh and have fun, and even reward yourselves with a healthy treat when you’re done.
Ultimately, every idea on this list is dependent on the mental and physical capacity of your elderly home care client. Take it slow, take precautions, and be safe.
Find an Elderly Home Care Agency Near You
What other questions or concerns do you have about taking care of an elderly home care client? Are you caring for a family member and would like to know how you can get paid? Contact Best Care today! One of our compassionate staff members will be happy to help you.