Encouraging seniors to stay active can be a challenge. As the body ages and becomes more and more fragile, its excitement to stay active starts to decline. Many seniors, especially those who are homebound or retired, become comfortable with lounging in the comfort of their own homes. Stepping out can be a hassle at times. While there is nothing wrong with occasionally kicking up your feet and relaxing on your favorite chair, studies have shown that sitting down for long periods of time can be harmful to your health.
While getting seniors excited about being and staying active is a struggle, it is not impossible. Here are some ways you can add the excitement back into their daily routine:
• Take on Gardening or DIY home projects – Getting seniors to become excited about keeping their home or environment in tip-top shape can help with getting them to be more active. Whether it be planting new roses or flowers in a small garden or building a birdfeed for the back-porch, keeping them engaged and proactive in maintaining their home can be an advantage. Not only will their home look more appealing but it will hopefully trigger a sense of creativity for them and entice them to want to make more modifications around the house.
• Complete small tasks during television commercials – Most seniors enjoy the simple things in life – such as lounging around their homes or watching their favorite shows on television. Although neither offer much activity, there are ways to incorporate physical activity into them. Consider having your loved one complete simple tasks during commercial breaks. Small tasks can include doing laundry, preparing ingredients for dinner, picking up after dinner, or tidying an area of their home.
• Take walks and explore different scenery – Consider walking different areas located throughout your community. While there is comfort in knowing your surroundings, the same can be said about exploring new places and environments. When taking your daily walk, consider visiting a local park or walking trail; you never know what new things you could see or new people you could meet. If your loved one has pets, consider taking them along on pet-friendly trails.
• Go out on more family outings – There’s comfort in knowing your family and friends wish to spend quality time with you, the same can be said for seniors. Going out to lunch, visiting a long lost friend, or taking a trip to the store are all ways you can spend time with your loved one without needing to be too active. While most family outings tend to be more engaging than physically active, they are very beneficial for seniors. The more often you take your loved one to step outside of their comfortable living space to become active, the more comfortable they will be with the idea of it.
Our Senior Centers are a vibrant hub for seniors to stay active, make meaningful friendships and new hobbies. You can also call our Care by Design program at 602-285-1800 if you are looking for a professional who is willing to go the extra mile to meet your needs.