Walking is often the easiest and most accessible form of physical activity for aging adults. Simply walking can be extremely beneficial in improving balance, strengthening joints and muscles, improving bone density, burning calories, improving cardiovascular health, maintaining good body weight, and more. As a family caregiver, however, it is extremely important for you to ensure any physical activity your parent takes on is safe for them. Keeping a walking regimen safe is not only important to avoid injuries, but also to encourage your parent to maintain their healthy lifestyle and enjoy the most benefit.
Some ways you can keep a walking regimen safe for your aging parent includes:
-Be sure your senior wears proper clothing when walking. This includes footwear that is supportive, fits well, and is comfortable.
-Choose where your senior will walk for exercise carefully. Going around their neighborhood can often be the easiest, but choosing a different place regularly keeps the activity exciting and provides many opportunities for quality time to spend together. Before you go to one of these locations, however, check it to make sure it is safe. This includes the terrain, the atmosphere, and accessibility of resources such as restrooms, water, places to take a break, and emergency care.
-Plan out walks carefully so they are not too long or strenuous for your parent. It is important to remember that however far you walk from your starting point is how far your parent will have to walk to return, so you do not want to go until they are tired before turning back. Pay close attention to your parent and be prepared to cut the walk short if they are not feeling well.
-Ramp up the length of the walk or other challenges, such as different terrains, gradually. You want to keep challenging your senior so they can maximize the benefits of their healthy walking habit, but don’t want to stress or strain their body excessively.
-Make sure you have supplies with you during the walk that will keep them safe and healthy, including water, a first aid kit, any emergency medical supplies they need such as an inhaler, common identification, and a reliable mobile device.
Safety should be one of your top priorities as a family caregiver.
Elderly adults often face many struggles and challenges that can compromise safety, but having elderly care as a part of their daily life can help both of you feel more confident. The highly personalized services of an elderly home care services provider can enable your parent to age in place and enjoy the type of lifestyle that is right for them. The services can include physical support to manage mobility issues, assistance with managing home security such as checking locks and encouraging good choices of his not opening the door to strangers, help with wandering tendencies, and more.