There are times when it can be difficult to get an elderly person to exercise. This is especially true if they have a disease like dementia. However, you as a family caregiver or the homecare aide, might already know that exercise can be beneficial for people at any age. It can improve physical and mental health. This is why you should encourage your elderly loved one to start an exercise program that suits them.
Here are some tips for helping someone with dementia to exercise.
Consulting with Doctors
The very first thing your elderly loved one should do before starting an exercise program is to speak with their doctor. They might need to make an appointment for a full checkup. This way, they can make sure it is safe for them to do certain types of exercise. It is also important to remember that if your elderly loved one hasn’t exercised in a long time, they might want to start slow. For instance, they might want to take a slow 10-minute walk instead of a fast 20-minute walk. You or one of their homecare providers might want to keep an eye on them when they are exercising, as well.
Choosing the Right Exercise Programs
Your elderly loved one might want to speak with a physical therapist or physiotherapist before starting an exercise program, too. These professionals can go over various exercises. They can also teach your loved one how to do them correctly. In addition, seeing a therapist might help give your loved one motivation to exercise every day.
Have a Homecare Aide Show Them How
It might also be helpful to give your elderly loved one a demonstration on how to do the exercises. This can be done by you, a homecare provider, or someone else. It is really important to keep in mind that many elderly people with dementia struggle from day to day. They might remember how to do an exercise one day and forget the next. If this happens, just try to be patient. Be prepared to show them how to do their exercises when they forget.
Exercise is good for a person’s body, mind, and soul. It can lift a person’s spirits. This is often needed when a person has dementia. As a family caregiver, take a few minutes today to help your loved one begin an exercise program. Just remember there might be times when your loved one forgets how to do a particular exercise. If this happens, just be patient and help them get back on track.