Being in a senior living community does not mean that you are going to live a sedentary life. As depicted by mainstream media, living in these communities entails sacrificing the things that you used to love. Physical activities are essential regardless of your age.
A senior living community should consider promoting wellness a priority. While it may not be easy as you need to take each resident’s emotional and physical state into consideration, it has been proven to work wonders. Some of the benefits that physical activities can provide are decreased hospitalizations and falls and happier residents.
The importance of exercise
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors of many diseases like cardiovascular disease. This disease is known as the leading cause of death in the US. Just because you are sedentary does not mean you will remain that way. You can still make some modifications to your lifestyle by becoming more active.
Incorporating exercise into your daily activity is important. It should be an essential part of a wellness program. Residents must always be encouraged to move independently whether they are in a wheelchair or with a walker.
A little movement can be very beneficial to residents. You can even infuse a little movement in sedentary activities like art projects, puzzles, card games, or even social gatherings. There should be an area in the community where residents can participate in various activities.
Keeping elderly active can increase blood circulation, improve posture, develop strength and balance, and reduce the risk of developing sores. Regardless of the amount of time spent on physical activities, being active is always a good thing.
Giving incentives to participants
One of the challenges faced by in home care giver San Antonio is motivating residents to participate. From coming up with exciting activities to encouraging residents to join an organized exercise, it seems so hard to convince residents to participate.
Senior living communities should think of ways to increase participation. One of the approaches you can try is to give incentives to those who join or attend classes. This technique can increase engagement and make the community healthier.
Incentivizing participation can be done in many different ways. You can give credits to participants each time they attend an exercise class or events which are organized by the activity staff. The residents can use the credits for buying items like door decorations, snacks, soap, hand lotion, and more.
Residents are more likely to attend as many classes as possible to get more credits. Another approach you can use in incentivizing participation is by recognizing participants. This can be done every quarter. You can give an award to the resident who has the most determination in attending wellness classes.
Participation can also be influenced by family engagement. Communities should also invite family members to attend the exercise or wellness classes. They can also be given weekly updates on the residents’ participation so they will be encouraged to devote their effort toward attending activities and classes.
The activities can be both fun and functional. More often than not, residents do not take an interest in these activities because they view them as plain exercise. By changing their perception, they will be able to consider it as a social event rather than a physical activity.
Exercise should not be optional
Another way for residents to participate is to make the exercise a necessary activity. This means that it should not only be the residents that should join but the staff as well. As they say, you should lead by example. The entire team should make an effort to assist residents. Some of them are hesitant to participate because they think that they cannot do it.
There are assisted living communities that assess residents upon move in. Then, residents are designated based on their physical and cognitive state. There are specific classes associated with each group or tier. These activities are based on the participants’ strengths and weaknesses. Appropriate interventions are also provided, to address the needs of each resident.
Instead of asking residents to pick classes they want to attend, communities should assign specific classes which match their needs. Some residents would like to participate in higher-level class but will likely skip it due to safety concerns. Staff can use this as motivation for residents to improve and the wellness system will serve as a starting point.