Leading a healthy lifestyle and staying active is important for all ages. This is especially true for elderly people concerned about remaining independent. The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine created physical exercise guidelines to help the elderly exercise safely. Here’s some recommendations for a safe healthy routine from the guidelines, but be sure to always consult your physician before undertaking an exercise program.
When engaging in moderate exercise, aim for 30 to 60 minutes per-day. Split your workout into 10-minute blocks if you prefer shorter sessions. In total, an elderly person should exercise at least 5 days a week for at least 150 minutes per week.
Moderate activity may cause a noticeable increase in your heart rate and breathing but you should have the ability to hold a conversation. Moderate activity may also cause you to break a sweat.
Suggested Physical Exercise
Walking, biking, swimming, light jogging, dancing, and using a treadmill are great endurance activities. Consider aquatic exercises if you have knee or hip problems. Again, ask your physician which is best for you. Your Help at Home caregiver can help keep you active as well, with transportation to a pool, going for walks, or encouraging simple exercise while at home.
At least two days a week of strength training helps maintain bone density and prevent muscle loss. Dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls. and kettlebells can be purchased for home use. A strength training guide or personal trainer can provide details on specific exercises.
You may have limitations that hinder your ability to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. But senior health is important, so do what you can. If you need help getting started, speak with your healthcare provider or a personal trainer to see what exercises are safe for you.
Healthy eating is often easier than exercising in your senior years. Many seniors need less calories to maintain their weight, and seniors may find that it’s difficult to focus on exercise because of muscle or joint problems. Therefore, it’s important to focus on nutritional needs as you age. Seniors can have different dietary needs, which vary from person to person, but there are some strategies that can make sure you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and choosing healthy foods. Help at Home caregivers who provide at-home care for the elderly are able to help prepare meals for our clients, but if you choose to prepare meals yourself, keep these guidelines in mind.
Switch to a Nutrient Rich Diet
Caloric needs will possibly decrease with age, so it’s best to focus on nutrient rich foods to get the minerals and vitamins that are needed. Some of these foods include vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and beans and lentils. Foods that have high calorie content but are low in nutrients should be avoided. An occasional treat is fine, but junk food should also be avoided.
Eat Enough Fiber
To have a healthy digestive system and good senior health, it’s necessary to eat fiber. This helps prevent constipation and other digestive problems. Foods that contain a lot of fiber include fruits and vegetables, oat bran, and whole grains. Doctors may recommend a supplement if seniors are struggling to get enough fiber in the diet.
Choose Healthy Convenience
When living a healthy lifestyle, and even with home health care, it can still be difficult to always prep food. If you are choosing convenience foods, be sure to get those that are healthy for you. For example, choose low sodium canned vegetables, rotisserie chicken, low sodium canned soups, or steamer bags of vegetables. When looking at prepackaged foods, check the labels and choose options that don’t have any unnecessary sugars, salt, and saturated fat.
Food is important, but it’s also important to keep drinking fluids for good senior health. You should aim for 64 ounces of water a day, and you can also get water from fruits and vegetables that have high water content.
Be sure to talk with your physician about healthy eating as well, and in particular if there are any dietary restrictions related to medications that you take.
Senior health involves habits and lifestyle practices that can delay cognitive changes associated with aging; one of those is doing things to enhance the function of the brain. Playing games that engage the brain, commonly known as “Brain Games” helps with memory health and is essential for staying sharp as we age.
While Help at Home senior caregivers may involve clients in reminiscing, puzzles and games, all seniors can take part in activities to challenge their brains. These activities may be similar to what Help at Home caregivers may provide for clients as part of senior home health care, helping keep mental agility sharp.
Seniors who want to stay independent for as long as possible should pay special attention to their brain health by staying physically active, having a balanced social life, and adding brains games to their daily routines.
Here are a few of the games found online that can result in better memory.
This website, www.briangle.com, is free to use and supports brain health by offering 20,000 activities that are ideal for senior health. There are several riddles and puzzles to choose from that will help improve memory and make the mind sharper by prompting players to match concepts, colors or images.
Writing in the Stars
This can be accessed through the AARP site, www.games.aarp.org, and is great for seniors who enjoy crossword puzzles. Nine words are given to players and six words have to connect to form a star before moving to the next round.
This game helps seniors to pay attention to detail. There are grids with letters and symbols that players must look at closely to identify the items that don’t belong. Find it at http://www.happy-neuron.com/brain-games/attention/private-eye.
For this game, players are given six letters and have to create as many words with the letters. This encourages creativity and can even help with reading and writing. See it at www.wordle.com.
We hope you have fun challenging your brain with these! For questions about home health care for seniors in the Florida counties of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties, call Help at Home for an in-home assessment for senior home care for you or your senior family member.
Getting older, it happens to us all. As much as we wish we could avoid it, we all reach a point in life that caring for ourselves becomes difficult. The simple tasks in life like using the restroom or getting a glass of water in the middle of the night becomes cumbersome to do alone, and for some, may begin to have some risk. Aging affects everyone eventually. Maybe you’ve noticed mom or dad slowing down in their daily actives, or maybe there has been a recent fall. Help at Home is available 24/7 in times of need to help keep your mind at ease as we provide home care assistance.
According to the National Safety Council, 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year from fall injuries, most from a head injury or hip fracture. There are alternatives to help prevent fall risks and help seniors maintain their mobility and independence.
Senior care provided at their home is often a needed stage as your elderly parent or spouse becomes frail. While we cannot say that an injury from a fall will never happen to a patients, our caregivers who provide at-home elderly care are trained to look for fall risks, to assist with transfers in and out of bed or to the toilet, and to help the senior remember to keep a cane or walker close at hand.
Help at Home has been dedicated to helping older adults and seniors for more than 40 years. Help at Home is different from nursing homes, we provide in-home care to our clients. With our well-trained staff, your mom or dad can live comfortably in their home, while their care is our number one priority. Help at Home focuses on enhancing the lives of seniors, the disabled and their families by providing in-home senior care.
Realizing your family member needs help is never easy; when you turn to Help at Home, you’ll have the relief of knowing they’re receiving the best care, while being comfortable in their own home.
Dental health is important for everyone at all ages, but especially for seniors. Help at Home would like to bring to your attention to some common conditions for older adults and present you with information on how to protect your aging loved one from potential problems.
Older teeth are susceptible to tooth or root decay, so brushing and flossing twice daily is vital. Teeth are more vulnerable to decay at the gum line or near fillings, so be sure to choose a toothpaste with fluoride to help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Some aging seniors may need assistance with their dental health and hygiene routine, and our licensed Home Health Aides are happy to provide help.
Special consideration for dental health is in order for seniors for another reason. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a side effect associated with a number of medications. Seniors who are taking prescription medications should be especially aware of this, as dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay.
Periodontal disease is also a risk for seniors, as it has been shown to be linked to other health issues like heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems, and diabetes. If your aging loved one has health conditions that put them at risk for periodontal disease, taking extra care to stick to a good oral hygiene routine is in order. This includes regular cleanings and dental checkups in addition to brushing and flossing.
As seniors age, they don’t have to lose their beautiful, healthy smile. As your loved one gets older however, their ability to carry out daily tasks like brushing and flossing may decline. Seniors may not be able to drive themselves to the dentist. Help at Home is here to assist you and your family with taking care of your aging loved one. Contact us to learn more about senior well-being and our in-home care services.
As summer approaches, seniors with arthritis dread the heat and humidity. Joints contain sensory nerves that respond to changing temperatures and weather conditions, so if your aging loved one has arthritis, you will want to do everything you can to keep them comfortable in the months ahead. At Help at Home, we work with many seniors with arthritis, and we’ve learned a few tricks to help allay the pain.
Arthritis and Summer Heat
Stay hydrated. Temperature changes can lead to changes in fluid levels in the body, according to some studies, and this can be bad news for seniors with arthritis. Keeping your body hydrated can help keep joints lubricated, which means a lot less pain. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water, especially during the warmer summer months.
Stay indoors if necessary. If it’s too hot and humid outside, stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment. Spending too much time outside in heat and humidity can increase joint inflammation and make anti-inflammatory medication less effective.
Choose the right clothing. Wearing light colors and loose-fitting styles in natural fabrics can help. Wearing breathable fabrics in loose styles allows you to move and keep you cool when it’s hot out.
Go swimming! It’s important to stay active, but many activities are hard on the joints. Swimming is great exercise, and it’s a low-impact activity that is easy on your joints.
If you care for an aging relative, you can help them stay comfortable this summer with these tips. Don’t let the heat and humidity keep you or your loved ones from enjoying this beautiful season! If you need help caring for your senior or are interested in our in-home senior care services, contact Help at Home today!