Mobility declines with increasing age, whether it’s related to vision, hearing, or physical movement. But seniors’ well being depends on staying active and engaged in their community. An article published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health stresses that participating in meaningful social, cultural, and physical activities is essential for a high quality of life and sense of wellbeing.
It’s true that those who don’t “use it, lose it.” This adage isn’t just about physical activity, but it’s also about social functioning. It’s important to find ways for mobility-challenged seniors to get physical exercise and have opportunities to socialize and participate in the community.
A Walking Routine Helps Seniors Stay Active Longer
A recent Yale study of 1,600 seniors between the ages of 70 and 89 who had some physical limitations and were sedentary showed that those who adopted a walking routine recovered from major disability more quickly and maintained more independence over time. They were also 25 percent less likely than their sedentary counterparts to suffer from a major disability in the first place. Walking just a quarter-mile each day can make a big difference in a senior’s life.
Transportation is Also Key
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging stresses that older Americans have an increasing desire to participate in the community through volunteering, socializing, shopping, and accessing other services. Their ability to achieve these desires is largely dependent on access to transportation. For seniors without easy access to public transportation or the financial means to use taxis, relying on family members and others for rides can limit their mobility and reduce their quality of life.
Senior Living Facilities Promote Mobility
One of the many benefits of senior living communities is access to group exercise classes and safe outdoor spaces in which to take a stroll and enjoy the outdoors. Transportation services and planned outings for shopping, sightseeing, and other outside activities provide opportunities for socializing, and they help keep seniors engaged in the greater community.
Staying active despite mobility issues can keep your aging loved one healthier and happier longer. You can help by encouraging daily exercise and offering opportunities for regular outings and social interactions with others.