As the years go by, people tend to get less and less active. This is especially true in the case of elderly people, who generally prefer to recline themselves to an armchair and sit out their twilight years. Well, unfortunately, the bitter reality is that the more they’re idle, the sooner death’s hand will likely strike. They need to stay active, and as fit as their health permits.
To achieve these results, sometimes our elderly parents need a bit of a (metaphorical) shove out the door. Consequently, here’s a few ways to encourage your elderly parents to stay active.
Things to See
Staying active is always more appealing if stimulating surroundings are available. In other words, going for a jog at the side of a main road is far less agreeable, than say, a hike in the Yorkshire Dales or the peak district. Therefore, you could suggest a trip to a nearby locale that has stunning scenery and sweeping views.
Staying active doesn’t need to be a sweaty, heart pounding, gut wrenching affair in some dank gym. Remove those notions from your folk’s minds. Instead, staying active can simply just mean going for a leisurely walk in a wonderful land or a gorgeous beach. Pack in some snacks, some soup perhaps, and a few drinks, and send them off on a calming, tranquil walk somewhere. Who knows, they may even enjoy it and take it up regularly! If your parents are still together, it could be a romantic event for them too!
The Social Side
Unfortunately, loneliness is a very real issue for elderly people. Two years ago, it was even branded as a rising phenomenon by the Guardian, who reported that the effects of isolation put some elderly people into hospital. Sadly, as elderly people become less mobile, they also become less social by default. Staying active can improve things here.
Whoever said that exercise needed to be a solitary affair? There’re hiking groups where new friends can be made, cycle clubs, jogging communities, the whole lot. Get them enrolled and they’ll be making friends and sharing more laughs in no time – all while staying active too! It’s a win-win situation!
Nobody should be bullied into anything, so don’t berate your elderly parents if you feel they’re not active enough. You may indeed have good intentions, but all this will do is turn them off to the idea more and more. Be calm and be understanding, and you should be able to find some sort of middle ground if you’re patient and kind.
For example, you could join them on their exercise regimen, and perhaps bring along a scooter from Mobility Solutions if they end up finding things too tough. That way, they know they have support and a way out if they start to struggle. Remember, if you show this level of compassion and reasoning, they may just be more inclined to give a bit of exercise a go. Help them!