How to help seniors stay fit and healthy

Lana Bandoim's picture
Help seniors to be fit and healthy

Seniors need support to maintain their fitness, weight and health. As you age, it becomes more difficult to stay fit and independent. Many seniors are forced to enter nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but it takes effort and vigilance to keep them healthy.

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Pay attention to nursing home care

It is easy to become complacent and assume that the staff at nursing homes or assisted living facilities is enough to keep seniors healthy. Unfortunately, many of these facilities are overwhelmed, understaffed or negligent. If you have an elderly family member in a nursing home, you must remain vigilant and make sure they are getting the proper care. For example, according to the Bed Sore FAQ, seniors can suffer from pressure sores or bed sores if the staff ignores them.

Many seniors require special diets and often take multiple medications that can affect their appetite. Sadly, nursing homes frequently fail to provide adequate nutrition for all of their residents and may not follow a doctor’s specific orders about special diets. One geriatric nurse practitioner points out that nutritional deficiencies are a bigger problem among the elderly in nursing homes. This is why it is crucial that families and friends pay attention to the care their loved ones receive.

Give seniors a reason to stay fit

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Although it is often overlooked, the motivation to stay fit can help many seniors improve their health and work on their weight. Aging is often accompanied by losing loved ones, retiring from work and decreasing independence. All of these factors can create a negative mindset that discourages seniors from staying fit or maintaining their weight.

Although many seniors understand the health benefits of exercise and proper nutrition, they find it difficult to stay on a program and may lack the inspiration to follow a consistent routine. One way to combat this is to give seniors a reason to stay fit by keeping them socially active. Interactions with others can encourage them to lose weight and exercise. In addition, social activities can help them fight mental health issues and Alzheimer's disease. In a nursing home setting, most seniors have a list of social activities they can participate in on weekly or monthly basis, so it is important to encourage them to take part.

Make necessary adjustments

As you age, it becomes more difficult to do certain activities, so it is crucial to make the necessary adjustments. Seniors can benefit from low-impact exercises that have a social element. For example, fitness classes and dance groups are good alternatives. In addition, seniors need to learn to adjust their diets to stay fit. They may need to recalculate their calorie intake because of a reduced activity level, or they may need to take into account their medications can affect their weight. You can help by discussing their concerns with medical staff and doctors, so their health remains a priority.

Seniors face multiple challenges and need ongoing support to stay fit and healthy. You can get involved by remaining vigilant, talking to doctors and asking about their health. Seniors do not have to settle for declining fitness levels.

Image from Pixabay.com and used with permission.

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