What Can Sitting Too Much Do to a Senior’s Mind & Body?

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Sedentary lifestyles have been identified as contributing significantly to the rising rates of obesity and chronic illness in Americans of all ages. The dangers of being sedentary are even more significant for aging adults, who are already at higher risk for developing serious health conditions. After retiring, seniors often need motivation to stay active, since spending long hours at home may tempt them to retreat to their favorite chairs or comfortable couches. 

Prolonged sitting (defined as being inactive for more than two hours at a time) is one of the major components of a sedentary lifestyle, and according to the Harvard School of Public Health, seniors spend nearly ten hours a day—almost two-thirds of their waking hours—sitting. Encourage your parent to get up and keep moving so he or she can avoid these dangers associated with being sedentary. 

Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Physical activity is necessary to keep the blood flowing throughout the body, and reduced circulation can have a devastating impact on the cardiovascular system. Exercise lowers many risk factors for heart disease by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. Physical activity also prevents obesity, which places extra strain on the heart. 

Seniors who need assistance with exercise can benefit from having home caregivers. Elderly home 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.

Reduced Mobility

Aging adults with mobility issues or conditions such as arthritis need to keep their bodies moving to keep their joints and ligaments from tightening up. Seniors can get a great deal of benefit from exercises that promote flexibility. Doing yoga and stretching every day are two of the best ways for aging adults to enhance their joint health while increasing physical activity levels. 

If your loved one needs help managing daily chores or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Montgomery respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Increased Incidences of Memory Lapses

Physical activity gets essential oxygen and nutrients flowing to the brain by boosting circulation. If sitting too much impedes the circulatory process, aging adults can develop issues that cause memory loss. Sedentary seniors have a greater risk of developing dementia than those who regularly engage in physical activity. 

Greater Risk of Depression

Exercise leads to the release of endorphins, which promotes enhanced mental wellbeing. Being active also gives your loved one opportunities to engage in meaningful experiences that can boost his or her mood and energy levels. For example, taking a stroll in the park allows your parent to delight in the beauty of nature and avoid feelings of isolation, which can lead to depression. 

Higher Risk of Falling

After sitting or lying down for a long time, the sense of balance can be affected, increasing the risk of falling when getting up and moving around. Since falls are more likely to result in injuries for aging adults, this should be a major concern for family caregivers. 

Lower Life Expectancy

As sitting too much and other components of a sedentary lifestyle start to take a toll on your loved one’s health, his or her life expectancy could be shortened. Heart disease, diabetes, and dementia are conditions that can be life-threatening for seniors, and they can get worse quickly for those who don’t stay active on a regular basis. Help your loved one avoid sitting too much, and encourage moving as much as possible to reduce the damaging effects of being sedentary. 

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 home care. Montgomery 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 boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. Call us at (334) 593-3988 to create a customized in-home care plan.


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