In his youth, John was once a physically active individual. He played sports, kept up with his weight training, exercised regularly, and had a pretty good diet. As he got older, though, things changed, as they do so often for many of us. A change in diet, even subtly so, lays the groundwork for more changes in the future. Before he realized it, he was considered a ‘senior’ and his physical conditioning was, as he would estimate, atrocious. When he was hospitalized, he knew recovery was going to take longer than it should have, mostly because he had given up on regular exercises.
Seniors like John can lay a solid foundation for those potential recovery stages in the future.
This doesn’t mean every elderly man or woman is going to end up in the hospital. It doesn’t mean every single person over the age of 65 is going to contend with injuries from a slip and fall accident, a health emergency like a heart attack or stroke, or even a serious and debilitating illness like pneumonia. However, for those that do face these challenges, getting in better physical condition long before they happen might help improve recovery chances and, ultimately, reduce the risk of a readmission.
Here are four ways seniors can get in better physical condition now to help reduce recovery times and improve their overall health.
First, whatever exercise routine or activity they take on, start slow.
If this person is going to begin walking briskly, doing push-ups or sit-ups, or something else, they should start extremely slow. Check with their doctor to make sure they are physically capable of doing these activities and it is safe for them to do so.
Second, keep a journal or record of progress.
It’s extremely difficult for people to see progress as it happens so slow. However, they can look back through this journal and see where they were a month ago, two months ago, or even just a few days ago and realize they are making progress.
Third, increase activities gradually.
When they start out slow, a person will find a bit more energy, strength, and stamina. That’s when they should consider increasing the activities or teens to improve their health a bit faster.
Finally, have physical assistance when necessary.
It may not be necessary for every senior to rely on the support of somebody physically, but it can keep them safer. A home care aide can do that for aging and even disabled clients.
By starting now, it can reduce recovery times as well as risks of hospital admissions and readmissions in the years to come.
Angel Alliance Caregivers of Galloway, NJ is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us at (609) 965-0028.