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Too many of our elderly sadly decide that their exercising days are over

December 10, 2012

 

Too many of our elderly decide that their exercising days are over.

My wife’s nan is in her early 90s and for all the years that I have known her she has been active and always keen to get out from her flat to visit friends.

However a series of falls has now knocked her confidence and she retreated to her armchair recliner. However, after her last bruising fall, it looks like she will be admitted to a Care home.

Her neighbour however who is a few years older than her has recently celebrated his 92nd birthday, and after seeing off the Luftwaffe during the Second World War is determined not to become incapacitated and stopped from doing his daily routine. He still walks to the shops every morning at 8 on the dot, to get the newspapers for everyone in the retirement flats, so that just like his old Ford Fiesta he keeps the engine running – or legs in his case.

It appears from all the leaflets and booklets that we have been reading that these things worsen, just as I wrote earlier when the elderly person has had their confidence knocked such as having an infection or illness, a nasty fall or a family loss due to death. These are all things that are likely to cause a complete loss of confidence and lead to a fear of going out or in fact in some cases doing anything if you are elderly.

Or the leading experts say that it is essential that you keep the mind active as well. Social isolation is in my opinion the most significant reason for the high rates of depression in our elderly population.   As the person, like my Wife’s nan for example, becomes socially isolated, and so with time, loss of confidence there is a further deterioration in mobility etc. They become frail and then require more help with the daily routine of simple and basic functions.

As our great medical experts say that once the muscle tone in your legs is lost, so does your everyday mobility. As I know this well myself, lack of any exercise will eventually lead to muscle loss and the inability to perform those tasks I could do 10 years ago.  In the elderly this can lead very easily to falls and balance problems.

Our medical experts are well documented in saying that the elderly who can stay fit and active are less likely to develop dementia. But unfortunately many elderly people are put off by exercising as when we have reached our latter years they have had hip and knee problems and are suffering with the pain of Arthritis.

Therefore, for the older and less energetic of our elderly population, their bones and muscles can be improved with regular exercise either at home or doing keep fit classes for the elderly at their local gym.

Typically patients in their 70s and 80s can remain active even if they have suffered heart attacks in the past. However, you should ALWAYS seek a medical opinion from your GP before starting your exercise regime, and if you experience any of the following symptoms when exercising, such as : Chest pain or pressure, trouble breathing or excessive shortness of breath, light-headedness or dizziness

Most elderly people aged in their 80s are unlikely to be seen out jogging or participating in an exhausting gym session. But there are other ways you can exercise, by exercising at home in  a regular, small but rewarding way.

 

 

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