The benefits of exercise extend beyond the physical and should be pursued by people of all ages. Physical activity will take on a slightly different form in retirement communities due to the prevalence of disabilities, ailments, and older age, but it is still vital and makes a tremendous difference in the lives of the residents there.
Research shows that regular physical activity has positive effects on senior health and lifespan, as well as broader benefits for the long-term care sector. Older folks who are encouraged to be active are more likely to report positive health outcomes, reduce their use of healthcare services, and lower the number of prescriptions they take.
The question then becomes how to manage independent living in New Orleans, LA such that residents get up and move around and exercise on a daily basis.
There is a plethora of opportunities to get in shape. Older adults can keep their hearts pumping through a variety of activities, whether they are confined to chairs or have full mobility.
Pick a subject and use the internet to find articles or videos that can serve as guides. It is great when experts come in to teach a session, but a member of the community or the activity director who happens to be free at the time can get by just fine.
In retirement communities, some of the most well-attended fitness programs include:
- Sitting Yoga
- Chair boxing
- Stretching and balance
Retirement communities often collaborate with senior-focused wellness providers that also offer helpful online streaming programs. As long as the elderly are getting up and about, productive and enjoyable activities can make a difference in their lives.
Healthy competition is always welcome. Older adults will be encouraged to avoid isolation and acquire some physical activity, even though there may not be as much going on in their retirement communities during the pandemic.
Games encourage participation and hold elders accountable. Here are several challenges fit for the elderly:
- Strolling / Walking Contest
Have contestants walk to and from the dining hall and sign their names anywhere from three to seven times a day.
- Walking Distance Challenge
Assist the elderly in counting the number of indoor or outdoor laps they walk.
- Participation Contest
Older adults can participate in activities in their community in a supervised manner, and they can even compete with one another to see who can take part in the highest number of activities.
It is not just exercise that can help keep the elderly mobile. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend anywhere from 75 minutes to 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, depending on the individual’s current level of fitness.
Some of it can and should be used for physical activity, such as walking, but the rest can be spent interacting with neighbors/community teams or taking part in volunteer programs.
Here are a few examples of volunteer work that can help keep elders active:
- Assisting in the kitchen
- Bringing newspapers to neighbors
- Light duties like delivering trays, folding laundry, wiping windows, and sorting mail