A Physical Problem
One of the toughest aspects of aging is realizing that you’re no longer able to do your favorite activities. We go from constant physical and mental activity to exhaustion. As caregivers, we’re left wondering how we can help our parent maintain a lifestyle that promotes physical and mental health.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has some interesting facts about physical activity and the elderly. Among other things, they mention that “the loss of strength and stamina attributed to aging is in part caused by reduced physical activity” and that “inactivity increases with age. By age 75, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity.” These are alarming statistics, especially when we consider the health benefits that accompany consistent physical activity.
What should we do?
It can be difficult to motivate your aging parent to participate in daily activity. Walking, gardening, and yard-work are a few simple ways to promote a healthy lifestyle for your parent. If they are resistant to doing exercise, ask why. After all, one of the most important character traits for a caregiver is patience, and it may take time and effort to convince them to to put in the work. One easy way to to do so is by showing them the benefits of daily physical activity. They include, but are not limited to:
- Moving with greater ease.
- Living with less pain.
- Having more endurance for daily activities.
- Achieving a better night’s sleep.
- Lifting his or her mood
- Decreasing his or her risk of falling and contracting illnesses.
This isn’t a one size fits all formula. There are many ways to help and we know that everyone’s parent is different. The important thing is trying. We want our parents to enjoy life to the fullest. Helping them engage in physical and mental activities is one way to help them have they lifestyle they deserve. We also know that it can be hard to do this by yourself. We’re here to help.