As we get older our bodies change – the things we used to do with ease become more difficult. Everyday tasks such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of the bath or shower, popping to the shops or even sitting down and getting back up from a chair are harder than they used to be. And yet, most people want to continue to live an active life in their own homes for as long as possible… so, what can we do to make this a reality?
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy suggests that “keeping active helps to ward off depression and anxiety, while staying happier can mean living longer. And simple, regular exercise is a key factor in keeping healthy, happy and independent into older age.”
One of the best ways to ensure you stay fit and active is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat well – plenty of water, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and vitamins – and try to exercise as much as possible. That’s not to say you have to suddenly attempt a marathon (the majority of 20-year-olds would struggle with that!) but exercise such as walking, swimming, yoga or pilates are hugely beneficial to both physical and mental health. Many local leisure centres or community groups offer exercise classes for older adults which are great social events as well as providing a good workout at an appropriate level to your age and ability. Even doing things around the house such as gardening or cleaning is a good way to keep yourself moving, raising your heart rate a little, working muscles and keeping joints flexible. The NHS offer activity guidelines for adults aged 65 and over.
Whatever you choose to do, try to exercise regularly but stay within your limits and never exercise to the point where you feel light-headed, dizzy or your vision becomes blurred.
Accepting help from others
There is care and support available to help you to stay active and independent in your own home – this could be carers who visit you at home or it may be in the form of equipment or adaptations, such as rails, stair lifts, bath seats or kitchen aids, which can make day-to-day tasks easier and, crucially, reduce the risk of accidents. Find out what’s available and accept help from others when it’s offered – while you may think accepting help means you’re not independent, having some support will actually help you to remain so! A little assistance and the right adaptations could make a huge difference to your daily life and staying active, independent and in control in your own home.
A chair from Stuart Mobility is just one of these adaptations that could help to make your life easier and more comfortable. A rise and recline chair offers physical support while you’re sitting to prevent slouching or slumping, which can in turn lead to health problems. It can also provide motorised assistance to help you when getting into and out of your chair – and when the task of getting up is less difficult you’ll be encouraged to move around more frequently rather than sitting still for prolonged periods because the very prospect of getting out of the chair is daunting in itself.
Equipment and adaptations such as this have been designed specifically for purpose, to help older people to remain active, independent, healthy and happy. Hours of research, design and testing goes into creating innovative products that have a genuine impact and improve lives, so utilise these products to your advantage!
Speak to your GP, health and social care team, physiotherapist or occupational therapist for advice on keeping active and information about care services or home adaptations or equipment that are available to help you.
For information and advice on how a chair could help and which type will best meet your needs, speak to a member of our expert team: https://www.stuartmobility.co.uk/contacts/