How to Motivate Seniors to Stay Active
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As your loved ones get older, it is not uncommon for them to find it difficult to maintain the active lifestyle they had before. Daily chores, exercises, and hobbies that they once used to enjoy become so difficult to perform. They stop exercising and simply become INACTIVE.
Perhaps this is the reason why there are over 31 million older adults who are inactive. It isn’t that this group of people does not know the benefits of staying active but rather a lack of motivation.
This is bad news because older people who are inactive are more likely to become sick and need healthcare assistance or even home hospice care much sooner than active older people will.
So what can carers do to motivate them to stay active?
Below we look at some of the ways.
Encourage them to set small goals
Help your loved one set small, achievable, and realistic goals first instead of going all out. For instance, if they are supposed to exercise for 30 minutes three times a week, allow them to start with 10 minutes and gradually build up to 30 minutes. You will be surprised if they want to do more.
Simplifying activities helps them feel as though the tasks are easy and wouldn’t take much of their time and energy. Also, the feeling of achieving a task, albeit small, motivates them to want to do it again and again.
Equip them with assistive technologies
A large number of seniors cease to exercise and engage themselves in physical activities because their bodies are no longer as strong as before. Some are going through a phase where their mobility is slowly becoming limited while others have let the fear of falling or getting injured take over them.
If your loved one is experiencing this, the best alternative is to get them a mobility scooter or a wheelchair. These two can help them get around with ease within the house and outside and thus motivate them to take up some chores, step out of the house or start exercising.
Introduce them to technology
Technology makes life easier, more convenient, and fun not only for the young generation but for seniors as well. Surprisingly, many seniors are responsive to technology so there shouldn’t be much negotiation about them adopting some technologies.
For instance, you could upgrade their phone to a smart one to keep them connected to family and friends.
Or install smart strength training equipment in their home to encourage them to work out right at the comfort of their home. And because these gym technologies can be customized to suit each user, you can be sure that your loved one will enjoy the personalized exercise programs.
Make them feel useful
The quickest way to motivate someone to do anything is to make them feel that their help is needed and appreciated. That isn’t any different when it comes to seniors. A lot of them feel useless as it is because of their age and therefore asking for their help makes them feel important and this motivates them to do even more. Encourage them to join charity events or community groups that are geared towards lending a hand. This is a clever way of keeping them active both socially and physically.
It’s crucial for seniors to stay active physically, mentally, and emotionally. Even performing just a single task every day counts as long as they get moving. Particularly in this pandemic era. While observing all health protocols and safety guidelines, carers should ensure that their loved ones do not just sit or sleep all day. It is detrimental to their health.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.