Elder Care in Evergreen CO: Walking for Independence in the Elderly

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Walking for Independence in the Elderly



Elder Care in Evergreen CO

Elder Care in Evergreen COA study conducted at the University of Georgia found that “older adults can decrease their risk of disability and increase their likelihood of maintaining independence by 41 percent by participating in a walking exercise program.” Specifically, it found that those who participated in the walking program increased their physical function by 25 percent. The study group consisted of individuals who were 60 years of age and older. They began with just 10 minutes of walking per day and eventually progressed to 40 minutes of walking which included a 10-minute warm-up and cool-down period. 

Good News

This is great news for those who want to live independent lives as they age. To help ensure this, all they require is a good, supportive pair of tennis shoes and space to walk. Even those that require the assistance of a cane or walker can benefit from keeping active. In addition to increased aerobic activity, walking strengthens the muscles of the legs which helps limit falls. A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to reduce muscle mass as well as aerobic function. Researchers at San Diego State University studied two groups of men. One group exercised regularly while the other group stopped after five years. No men in the exercise group developed high blood pressure while 60 percent of those that did not exercise tested high. In addition, those that did not exercise lost, on average, 41 percent of their maximal aerobic power.

Adding a Walking Regime

It’s important to make any type of exercise regime enjoyable in order to make it a consistent, long-term daily habit. Your parent may be more likely to follow through if they have company during the walk. If you or other family members are unable to provide this assistance, an elder care provider can accompany your parent on their daily walks. They can also provide transportation to unique venues that can keep the walk interesting. These include walks on nature trails, in botanical gardens, through historic or architecturally interesting neighborhoods. Walks along the beach, by creeks, and in wooded valleys can be very soothing and inspiring, particularly if your loved one spends most of their time indoors. This could be the hour-a-day they look forward to the most.

Caring for the Caregiver

If you find that you’re too busy helping your loved one with the daily activities of living to accompany them on their walks, consider having the elder care provider assist with these daily tasks so that you can join your parent on their daily walks, supporting your own health at the same time you care for your parent’s.

Resources
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080715152312.htm
http://www.americantrails.org/resources/health/wayoflife.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Evergreen, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.

Shanna Tourtlotte

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