Physical & Mental Effects Older Adults Experience from Too Much Sitting

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Mental & Physical Effects Older Adults Experience from Too Much Sitting in Des Moines, IA

Seniors sometimes fall into a sedentary lifestyle that has negative impacts on their overall health. Your senior loved one might start sitting too much if he or she is in pain, or he or she may just lack the drive to get up and move. Addressing why your loved one is sitting so much is the first step toward preventing these issues that arise when someone doesn’t incorporate enough movement into his or her daily routine.

Problems with Weight Management

Seniors who sit most of the day aren’t moving enough to use up the calories they eat. It’s also common for someone who sits a lot to eat unhealthy foods that don’t require any real effort to prepare. This combination of bad health habits can lead to weight gain. Being overweight exacerbates other health conditions that further prevent seniors from moving more.

Higher Risk of Sitting-Related Conditions

Seniors who sit long enough to increase their weight are more likely to accumulate fat around the waist. Abdominal fat is known to increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Although weight loss is more difficult in the senior years, it’s possible to reduce fat around the waist through regular exercise. Gentle exercise such as walking with a caregiver can greatly reduce the risk of sitting-related conditions. Senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Difficulty with Memory & Reasoning Abilities

People tend to focus on the negative effects sitting can have on someone’s body, but being sedentary also has a dramatic impact on the brain. Without movement, blood flow in the body begins to slow down. This means less oxygen-rich blood gets to the brain. If you’ve ever noticed you think more clearly after getting up and moving around, you can see how this can impact a senior’s cognitive skills. Once again, seniors don’t have to engage in vigorous exercise to notice the benefits of standing up. Even a walk around the house can increase blood flow to the brain.

Reduced Flexibility & Mobility

There’s a reason athletes warm up their bodies before doing strenuous activities. The joints, muscles, and ligaments that aid in movement have a tendency to stiffen up if they aren’t used enough. This is why seniors with arthritis tend to have more pain first thing in the morning when they wake up and get out of bed. Staying active keeps the joints limber. In addition to preventing pain, limber joints and muscles are less likely to be injured if a senior has an accident. Seniors who need assistance with exercise can benefit from having home caregivers. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Des Moines Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Greater Chances of Developing Depression or Anxiety

A lazy movie day at home might be fun occasionally, but sitting on the couch watching television day after day can get depressing. Seniors who mostly spend time sitting are also more likely to watch negative news that lowers their mood. Helping seniors engage in social activities such as dancing or swimming with friends can lift their mood and prevent serious mental health conditions.  If your loved one requires help maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Des Moines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To learn more about our premier in-home care plans, call us at (515) 264-2438 today.


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