Healthy Aging at Home for Your Elderly Loved Ones: Movement and Exercise Overview

Your loved one’s ability to safely and effectively manage the daily activities of running their home is also going to largely depend on their how well they can move and exercise their body.


Movement vs Exercise – what’s the difference?


All movement is physical activity which is carried out by the skeletal muscles, while exercise is the planned, structured, repetitive and intentional movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness.


In short, it is essential for your loved to have a regular schedule of exercises that promote improved muscle tone, posture, balance and flexibility they need to maintain functional independence, which is the ability to perform daily living tasks without help.


Regardless of your loved one’s level of physical fitness, their ability to physically engage in the day-to-day activities of managing their home, tending to their personal care, and participating within their community is critical to their mental well-being.


For those with physical limitations, there are many ways in which exercises can be adapted to suit their specific situation. Different types of exercise programs including Tai Chi, Yoga, aerobic and even strength training have been adapted to those who are in wheelchairs or who otherwise have issues around balance.


Communities often have small group programs that not only address these fitness needs, but also provide your loved one with opportunities to socially engage with others which can help reduce depression and anxiety caused by social isolation.


Currently, while some of these types of programs are slowly starting to re-open for in-person classes during the days of Covid, there are many courses still offered on-line. While not ideal, participating with others over platforms such as Zoom at least provides your loved one with an opportunity to engage with others.


Regular exercise, over time, helps build and maintain the muscle mass needed to lift objects and move joints. Easier movement of joints contributes to flexibility. The added strength and flexibility contributes to a better sense of balance. Improvement in all areas of physical fitness will help your loved one to safely operate and manage their home.


Added benefits to regular exercise include better quality of sleep, pain reduction, improved appetite, and support of the immune system.


As you can see, there’s a lot of overlap between all the areas to address with regards to healthy aging at home. That’s why it’s essential to take a detailed look at each, and discover the ways to reduce their negative impact on your loved one’s physical wellness.


If you’d like to explore how to support your loved one’s desire to experience healthy aging at home, please sign up for a complimentary discovery call with me.


Do you need help with taking care of your elderly?


Contact Nancy to inquire about a Caregiver Action Plan assessment where all aspects of care are reviewed in order to help families create a more dynamic and positive experience for the care of their loved ones.

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Nancy Glover, a healthy aging advocate, mentors extraordinary women and men who have stepped into the challenging role of caring for their elderly spouse or parent by managing their well-being in the later stages of life. Blending first-hand expertise with practical step by step systems to support the needs, goals, and desires of the elderly spouse or parent, Nancy helps caregivers maneuver the complex and often challenging role with supportive advocacy and resources that equally focus on everyone’s well-being. Learn more about her at www.agingwithgrace.ca and sign up to receive timely information and strategies to empower caregivers and families in transition.