Women over 50 often find themselves caring for both their own families and their elderly parents or other relatives. This is often referred to as the “sandwich generation”. If you are a caregiver, then you know how important it is to keep your elderly loved ones active. Mobility is king!
Many elderly people slow down and have less energy. Staying active is vital to both their physical and mental health. I tell my children all the time that I exercise today so I can keep moving in the future.
While every situation is different based on ability of the loved one, here are four ways to keep your elderly loved ones active.
1. Social Connections
Maintaining friendships and connections is important to help avoid isolation and depression. Assisting your loved one with continuing involvement in church and friend groups is vital to their social well being. You can also encourage involvement in a senior center with appropriate activities for the elderly.
As I mentioned above, mobility is king. Low impact exercise that you do together or at a senior activity center will keep their muscles and joints working. As a bonus, exercise also boosts your mood which can avoid depression.
The easiest way to accomplish this is by walking. A walk around the block or park will change the scenery, give you quality time together and leave you both feeling good.
3. Use of Technology
Your elderly loved one might be a little resistant to the latest and greatest tech gadgets, but some can be a tremendous resource to the family. You can teach your elderly loved one computer basics. This will allow them to stay in touch with their friends and family.
Digital cameras offer families the ability to visually check on your loved ones and provide security in their home.
Depending on the needs of your loved one, a service that provides equipment to detect falls can give everyone a level of ease when their loved one is home alone.
If your loved one has a hobby, then encourage them to keep it up. Some hobbies like sewing or knitting even have groups that get together to talk and share their passions. Helping with supplies and transportation can keep your loved one engaged socially and mentally.
Most importantly, make sure that your elderly loved one knows that they are loved and not a burden. As a caregiver it’s easy to get caught up in the “tasks to be done” and forget that your loved one needs your compassion and empathy as they cope with the changes in their life and level of independence.
Being a caregiver is often a complicated and sometimes difficult task. There is no “playbook” for every situation in the journey. As the needs of our elderly loved ones change, you may find yourself in need of guidance and advice.
Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information, support and guidance in giving the best care to your loved ones. Caring.com can provide personal, one-on-one guidance with a Family Advisor to help you navigate the world of elder care. Click any of the links in this paragraph or below to get more information.