How to Help Older Adults Conquer the Fear of Exercising

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Helping the Elderly Conquer Their Fear of Exercising

By Mark Febus, 9:00 am on August 23, 2017

Most people realize exercising is important to maintaining mental and physical health, but trying to stay in shape during the senior years can be challenging. Not only do a large percentage of seniors have limited mobility and balance, but many of them also completely lose interest in maintaining their health. If you think your senior loved one might be fearful of exercising, spend some time coming up with a comprehensive plan of action to get him or her back into shape. 

Speak with the Doctor

Have a conversation with an experienced geriatrician. Many seniors are uncomfortable with the idea of exercising because of various ailments, and training while managing serious health conditions could potentially be dangerous. Seniors need to have a full physical carried out to make sure they are healthy enough to engage in physical activities. 

Aging adults with limited mobility may need assistance with exercise and other daily tasks. Dayton in-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.

Start Slow

Trying out a new exercise routine can be an extremely slow process for older adults. Even seniors who were in good shape in the recent past could have a difficult time getting back into the habit of training. Depending on your loved one’s age and the state of his or her health, he or she might only be able to exercise for five minutes a day for the first few weeks. As time goes on and your loved one becomes stronger, you can eventually help him or her develop a workout routine that is both challenging and safe. 

Enlist the Help of Others

No matter how much time and energy you spend trying to help an aging loved one, there will most likely come a point when you need help. Asking family members or friends to come over and walk with your loved one could motivate him or her. Seniors who have severe mobility loss might need to work with an experienced trainer or physical therapist as well. 

Professional in-home caregivers can also assist your loved one with mobility and exercise. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Dayton, Ohio, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Try Unorthodox Exercises

Exercising doesn’t always have to involve lifting weights or sitting on a stationary bicycle for long periods. As long as your loved one is safely burning calories and increasing strength, he or she should be able to engage in physical activities that interest him or her. Even tending a garden or doing chores around the house can burn thousands of calories a week. 

Set Goals and Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool for caregivers who are trying to help their loved ones overcome a fear of exercising. Completing simple milestones such as losing a few pounds or swimming for 30 minutes a week may give your loved one a sense of accomplishment. Everyone responds to reinforcement in a different way. The occasional kind word or compliment could be enough to get him or her back into the habit of exercising.

If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often or to adopt healthier habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Dayton, OH, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. If your aging loved one needs assistance with daily activities or you need a break from your caregiving duties, call Home Care Assistance at 937-353-7997 today.

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