CARING FOR SENIORS

CARING FOR SENIORS

Ideas to Help Get Your Senior Clients Moving this National Senior Health & Fitness Day

This May 31st is National Senior Health & Fitness Day, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to educate seniors, not just on this day, but all year round. No matter whether you are a healthcare provider, senior caregiver, or medical staff member who interacts with seniors often, find ideas below for encouraging seniors to get moving on National Senior Health & Fitness Day and every day of the year.

Options for Encouraging Seniors to Exercise

Exercise is good for you at any age, but it’s especially important for seniors to exercise to preserve and improve good health and to fight frailty and depression.  Exercise has been proven to improve mood, speed healing, increase mental capacity, and create all-important social connections in seniors.  In short, exercise helps to improve all facets of senior health.

The slogan for the 2017 National Senior Health & Fitness Day is “With Movement . . . There’s Improvement!”  Here are some ways to encourage seniors to move, and improve their health:

  • Organize an activity to get everyone moving: a dance, walk-a-thon, low-impact aerobics event, etc.
  • Offer free health screenings alongside informational health workshops.
  • Get community members involved to offer coupons/ promotional materials to those who participate in the day.
  • Organize a senior flash dance mob.
  • Find or create a personal challenge to encourage exercise after the official Health & Fitness Day is over, such as a log to track miles walked to “Walk Across America” or laps in the pool to “Swim the English Channel,” etc.  Make sure that seniors only compete against themselves.
  • Get family members involved to ensure exercise— walks, swimming, dancing, etc.— is always part of family time.
  • Introduce a new exercise concept, such as chair yoga, Tai Chi, or exercising with video games consoles like the Wii.
  • Have an “exercise of the week” with instructions on proper form, reps, etc. to offer 52 different ways for seniors to safely get moving.
  • Give away health-related door prizes, such as water bottles, duffel bags, and hand weights to participants.

This column is sponsored by Comfort Keepers of Polk County.

by TRACY KELLEY

BIO: Tracy Kelley is the owner/operator of Comfort Keepers of Polk County. For over 14 years, she has been leading professional and extensively-trained caregivers to help seniors of Central Florida maintain their quality of life. Her motto— and that of Comfort Keepers of Polk County— is “we get to help the hands that built America.” For more information about Comfort Keepers, visit lakeland-381.comfortkeepers.com or call (863) 292-6199.

 

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