It's important for seniors to stay active and keep their bodies strong and healthy. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd Edition, commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults ages 65 and older can significantly benefit from regular physical activity.
Physical activity helps seniors:
- Preserve their overall physical function and mobility
- Prevent and manage chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer
- Lower the risk of dementia
- Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Increase social engagement
Assisted living facilities are implementing daily routines and programs to keep seniors physically fit, mentally sharp, and independent. According to Elder Care Alliance, the areas to target are:
- Balance—Improving balance will prevent falls. Some exercises to do are side leg raise, sitting and standing without using your hands, and walking heel-to-toe.
- Strength—Strong muscles and bones allow residents to remain independent. An example of exercises that build muscles are lifting light weights.
- Flexibility—Working on flexibility can improve mobility and decrease joint pain. Some exercises include yoga and Pilates.
- Aerobic Conditioning—Keeping your heart healthy is vital for your other organs. Many assisted living facilities offer aerobic classes for groups, which makes for great opportunities to socialize.
Physical activity works hand-in-hand with a balanced diet. Food services in assisted living facilities are essential to residents. It's not just about providing nutrition; it's about the social aspect of eating together and making the food enjoyable.
There are many factors to consider when preparing meals for seniors, such as medication effects, diet restrictions, weight control, nutrition, oral health, and more. According to the National Institute on Aging, healthy eating includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods within all food groups:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy
- Nuts and seeds
Enlisting the opinions of residents and having meals screened by registered dietitians will also help with food preparation and developing routines that accommodate them.
Staying active and independent is important to DLTC Healthcare and Bella Point's residents. Each facility has a variety of activity programs with daily exercise, live entertainment, and offsite activities, like their morning exercise program that they offer every day. They also avoid all prepackaged, canned, and pre-made food items. They also avoid added sugar and salt. DLTC Healthcare and Bella Point believe in keeping their residents healthy and active.
Please speak with your doctor before performing any form of exercise.
For more information on how DLTC Healthcare and Bella Point can help your loved one as they enter their senior years, visit https://dltchealthcare.com/bella-point/.