Tips for Keeping Your Loved One Moving in the Nursing Home
Exercise is important to everyone’s health, and that doesn’t change just because we get old. In many ways, it’s more important than ever to keep your body moving the older you get. That’s especially the case if you have a loved one in the nursing home. Exercise can keep them happier, it can keep them healthier, and it can help them prevent pain and complications that result from bedsores.
The trouble is, making sure your loved one is moving when they live in the nursing home can be hard. With these tips, it’s a lot easier.
Go for a Walk When You Visit
Hopefully, you’re visiting as often as you can. Visiting a loved one in the nursing home can boost their mood and show them that they haven’t been forgotten, which is very good for their mental health.
What you do while you visit can have a profound effect on their fitness. Instead of sitting on the couch or catching up in the cafeteria, ask your loved one if they would like to go for a walk. Find out what options their health insurance allows with Medicare Advantage Plans 2021.
Walking provides all ages with great exercise, and it’s one of the easiest forms of exercise to do. Ask if they would like to take a quick walk outside, or ask them to show you around the nursing home so you can walk the halls. It may not be the kind of brisk walk you’re used to, but it’s a great way to get your loved one moving.
Get Them Excited About an Exercise Class
Nursing homes usually have activity directors that plan all kinds of fun classes throughout the week. Encourage your loved one to take any class that interests them, but you should also encourage them to take at least one fitness class.
Ask to see a class schedule and talk about which classes appeal to your loved one. Ask their friends in the nursing home if they would be willing to attend an exercise class with your grandma or grandpa. You can even consider coming for the class too! If you can get your loved one excited about going, they’re more likely to give it a try.
Pick Them up From the Nursing Home
Figuring out whether Medicare pays for a nursing home, and whether the plan you have covers short- or long-term stays can be a nightmare. Figuring out if you can remove your loved one from the nursing home for short periods of time can be difficult too.
In most cases, it’s perfectly fine to remove your loved one for short trips. Pick them up for the afternoon and go for a walk at the park, or pick them up in the morning to attend an aqua aerobics class. Chances are, your loved one will look forward to leaving the nursing home for a while, even if it means they’re leaving to exercise!
Buy Exercise Equipment for Their Room
Not all people are exercise class people. Not to mention, attending a class or two a week is better than nothing, but it’s even better if your loved one can work in a little exercise every day. Encourage them to create a simple exercise schedule that they do every single day.
One of the best ways to get them excited is to purchase some exercise equipment. Not only are fancy machines expensive, but they also aren’t the best choice for seniors anyway. Instead, consider equipment like:
- Free weights
- Exercise pedals
- Resistance bands
- Step benches
Buying new walking shoes for your loved one can also be a great way to encourage them to move more!
Talk to Their Nurses
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s activity level, don’t hesitate to speak to their nurses. If they know it is important to you that your loved one moves more, they can remind your grandma or grandpa to do a few easy exercises first thing in the morning or right before bed.
Nurses can also keep an eye on your loved one and let you know exactly how much exercise they’re getting. That way, you can plan a walk for your next visit, or you can take things easy because they just attended a class that morning.
The older we get, the easier it is to spend more time sitting. That’s especially true of patients in the nursing home. It doesn’t have to be! Make sure your loved one engages their muscles every single day with the tips on this list.