While an occasional lazy day won’t hurt anyone, seniors must be careful to avoid becoming sedentary. Sitting or lying down for prolonged periods places stress on the body that can lead to long-term health issues. Your senior loved one can use these reasons to avoid being sedentary as motivation to get his or her body moving each day.
1. Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the elderly. Regular movement is effective for preventing many of the health issues that lead to cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure. Encourage your loved one to move around throughout the day, and set up a regular exercise routine that matches his or her fitness level.
A professional home caregiver can encourage your loved one to exercise and assist as needed. Boca Raton home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Reduce the Chances of Respiratory Distress
The lungs need to be exercised to stay strong. Seniors who spend too much time lying down may also develop fluid in their lungs. Standing up and walking around also helps nasal mucus drain properly rather than running down into the lungs. A senior who focuses on physical activity also develops a stronger immune system that keeps respiratory illnesses at bay.
3. Keep Joints and Muscles Limber
There’s a reason a senior’s joints tend to hurt more first thing in the morning. After a period of prolonged inactivity, joints and muscles can accumulate fluid that causes them to stiffen. Moving these joints stretches them and keeps them limber so the pain is reduced. Seniors with arthritis benefit from getting regular low-impact exercise that helps them maintain the flexibility in their joints.
4. Maintain Coordination and Balance
A good sense of balance protects your loved one from falls. However, a person’s body can begin to lose its ability to coordinate its movements after sitting for too long. Seniors should aim to get up and walk around every 20 minutes when they’re sitting for a long time, such as when doing a hobby that requires being in a chair.
5. Enjoy Better Emotional Health
A sedentary lifestyle is also linked to depression. While people who are depressed tend to be sedentary, it can also go the other way. Sitting for too long in one place doesn’t give your loved one enough mental stimulation to fulfill the need for developing a sense of accomplishment. Instead of zoning out on the television, encourage your loved one to go for a walk. He or she will feel better both inside and out.
Family caregivers also need time to get out and enjoy life so they can avoid being sedentary. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Boca Raton, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
6. Live a Longer and Happier Life
One of the worst drawbacks of a sedentary lifestyle is that it’s associated with a lower life expectancy rate compared to people who engage in regular physical activity. It doesn’t take a whole lot to increase your loved one’s life expectancy. In fact, just moving at regular intervals throughout the day could help your loved one extend his or her life.
If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To speak with one of our qualified Care Managers and schedule a no-obligation consultation, call (561) 826.9282 today.