From staying independent to maintaining physical health, staying mobile and active has many benefits, which is why it is so important as you age.
But as they age, your loved one might find it harder to stay mobile as they start to lose muscle strength, energy and motivation to move. So here are a few tips on how to keep your loved one mobile at home.
Eating the right food is important at any age, but your nutritional needs are likely to change as you get older, so you should think about what your loved one is eating and whether that is what they really need.
Eating healthy can increase strength in your loved ones bones and muscles, meaning they will be able to support their weight on their own and move around more freely.
At Burley’s Home Care our live in carers and home carers are happy to help your loved one get all the nutrients they need by assisting them in the kitchen, or preparing and cooking their meals for them.
Find out more about our carers preparing meals for your loved one by filling out our contact form.
On top of eating well, it is important that your loved one stays hydrated and drinks plenty of water. This is also one of the best ways to keep strength in the muscles. If your loved one doesn’t have enough water in their cells they are at risk of muscle breakdown, which will make it harder for them to move.
If your loved one is well hydrated, they reduce the risk of dizziness, disorientation and lack of balance, which in turn can reduce their risk of falling. With this they may feel more confident in being active and less afraid of injuring themselves due to a fall.
An easy way to make sure they are staying well hydrated is by keeping water and other healthy drinks close to them.
As you get older, the sensation of feeling thirsty changes, so they might not recognise that they need a drink. If your loved one is living with dementia they may experience something similar as part of their symptoms or they might just forget to drink.
If you need help keeping your loved one hydrated our home carers can help. Whether they pop in once a day, or a few times a day, we can be there to make sure your loved one has enough to drink throughout the day. Our home carers and live in carers are also able to provide specialist dementia to your loved one, with a bespoke care plan that suits them and their needs.
Keep it at a pace that suits them
It is common for an elderly loved one to hide away from physical activity because they are afraid that they won’t be able to keep up, whether that be with you and your family, or their peers. By going at a slower pace that suits them, they are more likely to join in and keep up.
Our befriending service could be perfect to help your loved one get active at their own pace. Our carers can visit as frequently as you and your loved one would like and join them for a bit of exercise that fits their ability. Or if your loved one has found a class or group that they enjoy but you struggle to get them there, our carers can assist them.
Make it fun
No one wants to do something that feels like a chore, especially elderly individuals. They have probably spent their life doing chores, they don’t need more, they need fun. Maybe something like dancing is a favourite pastime of theirs or they might enjoy a leisurely stroll because they get to see and meet people.
Help your loved one find something that they enjoy and have a passion for. This could include:
If they enjoy it, they will want to do it, and this motivation will keep them active and mobile.
Keep them moving
This one might seem obvious but the more your loved one moves, the more strength and mobility they will retain.
In many cases, an elderly person stops being mobile for fear of falling, but by maintaining a level of activity they will keep their strength and will be less likely to fall.
If they do fall, encourage them to get up and moving as soon as they are able to. Don’t let them become sedentary because they are scared. Take it slow while they build up their confidence and strength again.
Recovering from a fall can take some time, and it can be hard encouraging your loved one to get up and start moving when they are scared. Our live in carers could help you with this, as they can stay with your loved one for as long as they need and work with your loved one to build up strength and confidence to become mobile again.
Take a break
Following the point above, this might seem a little contradictory, but if their bodies are overworked there is risk of injury, so taking a break is just as important as keeping moving.
A good exercise routine will be three or four days a week for 30 to 60 minutes a time as this gives the body time to recuperate from the exertion between sessions.
Exercise doesn’t always need to be extremely energetic either, it could be a simple workout whilst sitting on the sofa, or bending and stretching to get the blood flowing.
Stay positive and offer encouragement
By offering encouragement you will get your loved one to focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t do. This can completely shift their attitude towards activity and staying mobile which can inspire them to maintain the exercise. The more comfortable they are with doing the activity, the more likely they are to stick at it.
Offer your loved one words of encouragement and comment on their progress or even join them from time to time. Showing them that you are interested in it can provide motivation too.
Need some help with this?
Hopefully we have given you some ideas on how to keep your loved one mobile, but we understand that it can be a lot to keep your loved one active and mobile, so if you need a little help with it, we can help.
Our live in carers and home carers can help take your loved one to any classes or groups they are part of, or we can help cook meals or be a companion while they are doing some exercise. We can create bespoke care plans that suit you and your loved one’s needs perfectly, and they can change as your loved ones needs change.
For more information about home care, call your local branch:
Or for more information on live in care call us on 0345 5120022.