With ideal weather to get outdoors and COVID-19 cases declining, seniors are eager to socialize and be more active again.
For the past 17 months, seniors have been cooped up inside their homes, heeding public health advice to limit contact with others to protect themselves from a COVID infection.
While older adults need to follow health and safety protocols, it’s also vital they stay physically and mentally active.
The effectiveness of vaccinations has opened the door to more freedoms for everyone, but especially seniors and those with underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable to severe illness. What’s more, recent developments in rapid antibody testing are also giving seniors a better sense of security and another layer of protection.
Antibody testing is used to determine if someone has been infected with COVID-19 or if vaccinated, that they still have virus-fighting antibodies in their system.
Why seniors should maintain their health and wellbeing and how to do it
To maintain health and wellbeing, seniors need to stay active and connected. When it comes to socializing and exercise, there are all kinds of options available. “It’s essential for seniors to stay active, build strength, balance and flexibility,” says Erika Rendon, CEO, Comfort Keepers of Barrie - a trusted provider of a wide range of in-home senior care services. “Staying fit as a senior will help increase energy levels, strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure and improve sleep. It will also contribute to their level of independence, boost mood and confidence levels and allow them to continue to play an active role in their family’s lives.”
As people age, they can become less active. Having aches and pains, less mobility and a feeling of isolation are all limiting factors. But staying active doesn’t have to be complicated. “There are simple ways seniors can reacquaint themselves with a more active lifestyle,” says Rendon. “The key is to find creative ways to move safely.”
Walking is one of the most beneficial activities for seniors. Walking around the neighbourhood can reduce restlessness and deliver mood and immune-boosting benefits. Setting goals and using a pedometer or distance tracker can help with motivation and be used as a tool to track progress.
Stretching and strength training can improve balance and mobility. This doesn’t have to mean lifting weight. Chair yoga is a great, low impact way to increase strength and improve mobility.
Gardening is therapeutic for older adults who enjoy the outdoors and maintaining a garden can provide a deep sense of pride and accomplishment.
Seniors are encouraged to be active and not overdo it. They should keep someone informed when exercising alone in case of a fall or injury. Having a qualified home care professional to monitor and check on your loved one can provide peace of mind. Caregivers joining seniors while they exercise will also give them companionship.
Moving away from the pandemic and into the new normal with aging family members provides a unique opportunity to re-energize, find new happiness post-COVID and create more ways to elevate the human spirit.
For information on in-home care services, testing and COVID safety for seniors, and more ways to keep our seniors active and safe, visit Comfort Keepers of Barrie or call 705-728-8222.