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November 6, 2018

Tips to Help a Senior with Dementia to Stay Active

Physical activity, especially after you clear it with her doctor, is a great way to help your senior with dementia to have much better quality of life. These tips can help you both get the most out of exercise for her.

Aim for Activity During the “Better” Part of her Day

Your elderly family member is likely to have a specific portion of her day in which she tends to do better than at other times of day. For many people with dementia, that better time period is in the morning. If that’s the case for your elderly family member, you might want to try scheduling her workouts for sometime during that better part of the day. This can help her to concentrate more effectively and hopefully avoid injury.

Be Realistic and Go for Shorter Exercise Sessions

It’s important to remain realistic about your senior’s exercise sessions. They need to be made up of activities that she enjoys for best results. For instance, taking a walk and noticing the different things going on in the neighborhood can be a lot of fun. Turning on some favorite music and dancing can fit the exercise quota, too. Shorter periods of exercise might be better than trying to fit in long workouts. A 10-minute walk gets plenty of exercise in but doesn’t sap her energy.

Break Down Complicated Activities

If activities are complicated, such as exercise videos with complex moves, then they might be frustrating for your aging adult. It’s a better idea to stick with simple activities whenever you can. This can be difficult to do, especially if you’ve never dealt with this sort of issue before. Elder care providers can help you to keep your elder safe and engaged during exercise and show you how to communicate with your senior about what she’s doing.

Make Sure Your Elder Stays Hydrated

Proper hydration is vital at every stage of life, but it’s especially important for your aging family member while she’s exercising. Keep a water bottle handy and prompt your senior to drink. If you’re exercising with her, you can stop for water breaks together.

Keep Appropriate Clothing in Mind

Your senior can easily injure herself while exercising if she’s dressed inappropriately. She needs to have the right clothing and shoes that are both comfortable and fitting for the activity. Even if she only exercises indoors, it’s important for your elderly family member to have the right footwear to protect her feet and to help her to keep her balance.

Work with your elderly family member’s doctor to determine if there are any other considerations your senior needs to keep in mind while exercising. You can develop a customized exercise plan for her that keeps her active and engaged in her exercise routine.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Berwyn IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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