Sitting is a natural posture seniors often assume when they need to rest or do activities such as enjoying a meal. However, it’s common for seniors to lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles that put them at risk for serious health issues. If your aging loved one sits for the majority of the day, these potential consequences can serve as motivation to help him or her get moving.
1. Decreased Cognitive Function
The consequences of living a sedentary lifestyle are often viewed as being mostly physical, but this isn’t always the case. Your loved one’s mental abilities also depend on being physically active. When your loved one moves his or her body, he or she gets the blood flowing so it delivers vital oxygen and nutrients to the brain. The same thing that helps you enjoy clearer thinking after a run is what helps seniors think better when they engage in regular physical activity.
2. Higher Chances of Bone Fractures
A person’s bone mass rapidly begins decreasing after middle age, and this is a common cause of injuries in seniors. Bones need weight-bearing exercise to maintain their strength. While this doesn’t mean your loved one needs to hit the gym and lift heavy dumbbells, it does mean he or she needs to place some form of body weight on the legs. Walking is a great way to maintain bone strength in the hips, legs, and feet.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise safely. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading in-home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
3. Reduced Cardiovascular Health
Heart health becomes increasingly important with age, and sitting has several negative impacts on the cardiovascular system. Prolonged sitting is associated with weight gain, and excess fat places strain on the heart. Seniors also don’t move enough to create adequate blood circulation when they sit for too long, which can have devastating consequences, such as blood clots forming in the veins.
4. Increased Incidences of Chronic Pain
Some seniors become inactive once they start to experience pain. Although it’s difficult to get moving with arthritis or other health conditions, it’s important for seniors to maintain a steady routine of activity to reduce stiffness in their muscles, joints, and ligaments. Seniors should still pay attention to their bodies as they move throughout the day, and any sharp or new pains should be reported to the doctor. However, most seniors can still tolerate some level of movement, even if it involves having their caregivers help them with bed or chair exercises.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Clearwater seniors can depend on.
5. Difficulty Maintaining a Positive Mindset
Sitting at home is often connected to spending more time on the Internet or watching television. This often exposes seniors to negative news and opinions that can eventually shift their way of thinking. Seniors who sit are also less likely to be doing productive activities that promote a sense of purpose. Helping seniors find comfortable activities that engage their bodies and minds makes it more likely for them to continue looking forward to each new day.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Clearwater Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (727) 330-7862 today.