Every year, the CDC reports more than 800,000 people are admitted into a hospital after falling. It’s also estimated that 3 million older adults go to the ER following a fall. When hospitalization is recommended it’s usually due to a hip fracture or head injury that requires surgical treatment or careful monitoring.
Why are senior citizens likely to fall? Some of the risks are due to changing eyesight and the side effects of different medications. An unsafe home can be another issue. Loose railings, icy stairs, and low lighting can lead to a fall. The other factor is that muscle tone and joint health can diminish as you age, which increases the risk of falling. Toned muscles can help your dad stay on his feet.
How Much Exercise Does He Need?
The goal your dad should aim for is 30 minutes of exercise each day. Ideally, the exercise he gets should be a mix of activities. Strength training, aerobics, and stress reduction offer a balance of activities that help your dad’s mental and physical health.
If he cannot manage all 30 minutes at once, he can divide it into smaller sections. A 10-minute walk after breakfast, a 10-minute Yoga video after lunch, and a 10-minute session of leg exercises before dinner give him the full 30 minutes he needs. If he’s not in shape, it’s best to start with 10 minutes and work from there.
What Are the Best Exercises for an Older Adult?
Exercise routines depend on your abilities. If your dad is not used to a lot of activity, he will need to start slow and easy. Chair exercises that strengthen leg muscles are a good place to start. From a seated position, your dad can do ankle rotations, leg lifts, and stretches.
To reduce stress, Yoga and Tai Chi programs for older adults help. They work well because some of the programs are dedicated to medication and breathing. The rest is about stretching muscles and staying balanced.
If your dad can manage a more aerobic routine, Zumba or dance routines are great. He’ll be moving with the music. See if Water Zumba is offered in your dad’s area. He’ll dance in a pool where the natural buoyancy helps relieve pressure on his joints.
Ask His Doctor
Talk to your dad’s doctor about the exercises he wants to do. You don’t want him trying to do things that a doctor feels could lead to an injury. It may be advised that he work with a physical therapist and learn appropriate exercises.
If a physical therapist is advised, elderly care aides can help you with transportation. Instead of taking time off work, the aide could drive your dad to and from the medical office. At home, the elderly care aide can provide the encouragement and reminders your dad needs to make sure he’s doing his 10-minute exercise sessions as often as is recommended.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Oro Valley, AZ please contact the caring staff at Sunlife Home Care today at (877) 888-1311.