While caring for an aging family member may involve overseeing daily chores or personal care, it’s also important to help your loved ones understand how to take better care of themselves physically. Below are five reasons for why seniors should commit to staying active in their golden years, presented by Denton County Home Care Assistance:
- Staying on the bright side. With age, seniors are more at risk for depression, specifically “vascular depression” which is caused by interrupted blood flow in the brain that can cause damage to nerve pathways that control mood. While there may also be underlying factors for depression, doctors claim that regular exercise can reduce overall risk. Seniors who remain active enjoy meaningful recreation and are provided with opportunities to spend time with others, also contributing to reduced depression risk.
- Reducing disease for a truly golden age. Seniors can experience their golden years as golden if they can minimize their risk for illness. Regular exercise improves immune function, heart health, blood pressure, bone density, and digestive functioning. Seniors who remain active also lower their risk of developing chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. If your aging parent or loved one has already been diagnosed with an advanced condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, exercise along with help from a professional Alzheimer’s caregiver can help slow its progression.
- Keeping your wits. Research suggests that physical exercise is an effective non-pharmaceutical approach to maintain good cognitive function. Researchers state that seniors who engage in regular exercise demonstrate better brain flow across key brain networks and demonstrate less brain shrinkage. Other studies found that active seniors experience less “senior moments” and maintain a better memory than those who are sedentary.
- Maintaining balance. Annually, falls are reported by one third of seniors over the age of 65, with many falls resulting in broken bones and fractures, concussions and long-term disability. Seniors who exercise have better flexibility, strength and posture, which helps to promote balance and coordination, thus reducing overall fall risk.
- Remaining independent. Many seniors wish to remain independent as long as possible. Staying active helps seniors achieve this goal as they are consistently working on their strength and stamina. By exercising regularly, seniors are better equipped with the skills it takes to keep up with daily chores and regular routines.
Seniors need to stay active in order to preserve their physical and mental health as well as maintain their independence. Light aerobic exercise, such as walking or yoga, a few times per week, can make a meaningful difference in the quality of life of your golden years. For more information about senior fitness, reach out to Home Care Assistance at 972-468-6010 and learn more about our hourly and 24 hour care plans for Denton County seniors.