As we’re finally easing our way out of this pandemic, we are finding out more about how it has harmed seniors – both physically and emotionally. We all know seniors have been at a higher risk of serious side effects and death due to the COVID-19 virus. However, the impact of 15 months of physical distancing and social isolation is just as worrisome. Midnight Sun Home Care, offering Palmer home health and home care in the surrounding area, has tips to help seniors stay active.
Dr. Jonathan Bean of the New England Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center in the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System has observed a “significant decline in functioning” in both his elderly patients, not to mention his own mother. While she had been able to walk with the assistance of a walker, participate in conversations, and take part in other activities of everyday life independently pre-pandemic, her cognitive and self-care abilities have declined dramatically.
Physical therapy expert Linda Teodosio confirms, explaining, “Immobility and debility are outcomes to this horrific pandemic that people aren’t even talking about yet.” She is noticing a considerable increase both in chronic disease exacerbation and falls – probably based on poor lifestyle choices attributable to the pandemic, for example unhealthy eating habits and less exercise.
As a result, increasingly, more older adults require physical therapy along with other rehabilitative services. Several health plans respond to the issue by following up with seniors to be sure of their wellbeing and help connect them to the services they need to recover their strength. Surprisingly, up to 20% of a senior’s muscle mass could be lost by simply not walking for as few as five days, according to physical therapist Sabaa Mundia.
Before jumping into a new exercise program, however, it’s crucial that seniors first schedule an appointment with the health care provider for a complete exam and tips about safe, ability-appropriate physical activity. Then make a plan to assist the seniors in your life to stick with a healthier lifestyle that features a good amount of physical exercise.
Let Midnight Sun Home Care’s Palmer home health services assist the seniors in your life stay as physically active and engaged as possible to gain strength. Our caregivers are always readily available to deliver the motivation and encouragement to help older adults make exercise a routine element of each day. We can also provide transportation and accompaniment to exercise classes, the gym, the pool – wherever and whenever a senior would like to go. Sometimes, just adding in an everyday walk with one of our friendly caregivers can make a world of difference in how older adults feel!