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How to Keep Older Loved One’s Active

what is sundowning

As we get older it can become harder to stay active. Once we’ve retired and stopped going to work, it’s easy to lose routine and for our social life to suffer. It can be hard to find the motivation to stay active, and suddenly we can find that we’re leading a largely sedentary lifestyle. 

If you have older relatives, it’s normal to worry if they seem to be very inactive. A lack of activity can lead to weight gain, poor circulation, a drop in mood, depression, and an increased risk of a wide range of health conditions. The good news is there’s plenty that you can do to help them. 

Get Professional Advice

While reduced activity in later life can be very common, that doesn’t always mean that it’s normal. A lack of activity due to fatigue can be a sign of sundowning, which is common in Alzheimer’s patients. It could also mean that your loved one is struggling with mobility issues or mental health problems. Take a look at this article answering what is sundowning and any other questions you might have, and see a doctor if you are worried about mood, mobility, or cognitive decline.

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Consider a Move to Assisted Living

It can be hard to keep your older loved ones active if you live far away, work long hours, or have a young family of your own and feel unable to commit the time. An assisted living community could offer your loved one support with mobility, but also new hobbies, friendships, and social opportunities to encourage activity, movement, and enjoyment. 

Find New Hobbies

While we’re busy working and looking after our families it’s easy for hobbies to get lost. We’re short on time, and many of the hobbies that we once enjoyed get forgotten. Then, we retire and suddenly we’ve got lots of free time and nothing to do with it. It can be isolating and lonely, not to mention boring. 

A great way to boost your loved one’s mood and increase their activity is to help them to find new hobbies or to rediscover old ones. Talk to them about things that they used to enjoy and look for groups and clubs in your local area.

Take the Grandkids Round

If there are young children in your family, taking them round to visit regularly can be a great way to keep older relatives active, happy, and mentally alert. It’ll also give them something to look forward to and help to lift their spirits. 

Head to the Gym

You might think that your loved ones are too old to hit the gym. But going to the gym isn’t all about squeezing into Lycra and lifting weights. Many gyms have classes for seniors and personal trainers who can help to put together gentle plans to ease them into exercise without risking injuries. 

One of the best things that you can do for your older loved ones is keep checking in and look for signs of limited activity, problems with mobility, and other issues. If you are worried, speak with them and get advice from a doctor. 

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