Exercises should form a core part of the care plan for your elderly residents. Walking is an ideal form of activity that can help seniors improve their health and well-being. It has multiple benefits without much investment other than time and a pair of good shoes. It is one of the most senior-friendly forms of exercise. When done in groups it’s a great social activity.
If you are running a care home, walking is an ideal exercise for your residents. Over here we discuss how walking can benefit seniors at your care home:
- Good for heart health: One of the biggest benefits of walking is that it’s great for cardiovascular health. Walking every day helps seniors to keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels in check. Walking is a low-impact exercise that temporarily increases the heart rate and thus improves the efficiency of the heart.
- Strengthens muscles: Walking tones their leg, abdominal and buttock muscles. This improves the range of movement and shifts all the weight from knee joints to muscles. This reduces the chances of developing joint pain.
- Improves joint movement: Those who are already suffering from joint pains can benefit from walking. Many elderly residents who suffer from joint pain because of arthritis often give up on walking thinking it will be painful. However, walking lubricates knee and hip joints and thus reducing joint stiffness, swelling and pain. If you have elderly people in your care home who are suffering from arthritis, you can have a caretaker to accompany them during walks.
- Helps remain steady: Walking regularly can help residents at your care home to correct their posture and gait. Regular walking improves postural stability that helps in decreasing the risks of falls. Falls can have serious consequences like serious injuries and loss of mobility for the elderly. With regular walking and other forms of light exercises, seniors are more mindful of their posture and their steps.
- Boosts mental health: A good walk can do wonders for one’s mental well-being. Walking regularly helps seniors feel energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, and feel more relaxed. All these things help seniors feel more positive about themselves and keep anxiety and depression at bay. Physical activity, whether low-impact or high-impact, releases endorphins in the brain that help to keep seniors in a good mood.
- Keeps weight in check: Overweight seniors are more likely to suffer a fall than those who maintain a healthy weight. Walking helps seniors to burn calories. Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to stick to. You can introduce a walking program for seniors that will encourage them to socialise with other residents. Chatting and walking with friends can make daily stroll fun.
To ensure that seniors at your care home are leading an improved quality of life, besides wellness programs that include indoor and outdoor exercises, introduce electronic medication administration record system. Several care homes in the UK have switched to eMAR which helps to reduce medication errors. The software automates the entire process and reduces the risk of human errors. The app can be customised as per the needs and requirements of your care home. It has the same template as that of MAR sheets, hence training your care home staff getting acquainted with eMAR won’t take much time.