Ways Seniors and Caregivers Can Stay Active in the Winter
Between the holidays and the cold weather, winter can be a season when healthy lifestyles falter. This is especially true for adult children who are caregivers for an aging parent. During warmer weather, it’s easy to spend time outdoors gardening and walking with your senior loved one. Both are good activities for the body and mind.
When winter arrives, however, you might find yourselves stuck indoors. Those who walk faithfully every day during warm months might be fearful of slip-and-fall injuries. Icy, snowy weather might also create driving hazards, making traveling to a fitness club less appealing.
It’s probably a good idea to explore a few forms of fitness you can safely enjoy in the comfort of your own living room. Doing so will make it easier to stay active during cold months, as well as during inclement weather the rest of the year. It will also help keep you moving on days when you can’t leave your senior loved one alone to go walking or to the gym.
Indoor Fitness Activities for Caregivers and Older Adults
We have a few suggestions you can talk about this winter with your doctor and your senior family member’s doctor:
- Seated exercise programs: Yoga and Pilates are forms of exercise that nurture the body and the spirit. Even if you aren’t as flexible as you used to be, these can still be good fitness activities for you. Evidence shows seated chair yoga and Pilates from a seated position can be just as beneficial as traditional forms. YouTube channels like SeniorShape Fitness are an easy, free way to get started.
- Tai chi: This ancient Chinese martial art is another great form of fitness to engage in with your senior loved one. It’s linked to improved core strength, as well as better endurance and flexibility. Each of these benefits is tied to a lower fall risk among older adults. The Arthritis Foundation has tai chi resources you can explore at no cost.
- Dance party: Another fun intergenerational activity that benefits the body, mind, and spirit is dancing. Getting off the couch and moving to upbeat music can boost your mood on cold winter days or rainy summer ones. Even modified dancing from a wheelchair or recliner can help your senior family member feel like they are dancing along with you.
- Strength training: It’s an unfortunate reality that as we grow older, our muscle mass begins to decline. Working strength training exercises into your fitness plan a few times a week can help overcome that. Resistance bands and small weights are inexpensive and easy to use. You can add weight or increase resistance as you get stronger.
We hope these suggestions are helpful for you and the senior you are caregiving for!
Consider an Emergency Alert System
We know family caregivers often find themselves worrying about their senior loved one’s safety when they aren’t around. Whether you walk out to get the mail or leave the house to run a few quick errands, it’s important to have a system in place for the older adult to call for help if it’s needed. That’s where a mobile monitoring unit can be of assistance.
With the press of a button, the user can quickly summon help 24/7 from wherever they are. It provides both of you with peace of mind. Call 1-844-203-5617 to learn how to get started!