Helping your still active senior get exercise after cognitive decline

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If you have a senior in your life who is still active, it's important to make sure that they have outlets for their energy. Exercise has a number of benefits for the elderly, including improved physical fitness, improved moods, socialisation and there is growing research that exercise supports cognitive function.

Unfortunately as people lose cognitive abilities they may become easily confused if they head out for exercise by themselves, so here are some ways that you can help them to stay active. 

Senior walking groups

Many seniors groups having walking tours, where they either agree to meet at a certain location or the walking group comes to the home door to pick each member up. This can be very helpful if your senior is not driving and can struggle to get to the meet up location. These are often organised through the local council or respite care services, so it's worth contacting them to see what service are available in your area. Having other people in the group to help your senior maintain a set route can minimise confusion and stop your senior getting lost during their walk.

Senior gym classes

Some gyms also offer seniors gym classes, which are targeted exercise programs combining aerobic fitness and weight bearing exercises. These can be a fun social outing, as well as having health benefits. You can see if your gym has a pickup service, or whether another gym goer could potentially pickup your loved on their way through. Weight bearing can help improve bone mass, which in turn is linked to better outcomes after falls including less bone breakages. 

Homecare support

Even though homecare is focused in the home, homecare staff can also provide rides for your senior to go to exercise classes or sporting events. This can be a good way for your senior to keep playing a sport that they have always played, such as tennis. Homecare staff can also take your senior out for walks and exercise, or give them a lift to the local pool, if they prefer to do solo exercise. 

Exercise is a powerful lifestyle tool to allow seniors to maintain some independence, and keep their physical and mental health optimised. Even if your senior is struggling with exercise currently, finding some support for them to continue with a fitness regime can be a sanity saver for you and them. Why not contact a local homecare or respite service (like Bromilow Home Support Services Pty Ltd) to see what supports may be available in their area?