Everyone knows how important exercise is, but many people struggle to get their daily allotment of activity in. As people age, finding the motivation to lift small weights and go for a walk or stretch can become more and more difficult. At the same time, remaining active becomes increasingly important. If you have a parent in an assisted living facility, here are three ways you can help them stay active.
Encourage Them to Join a Club
Finding the motivation to go for a walk may be difficult for your parent, especially on days when the weather is unpleasant. Instead of reminding them to walk, suggest joining a club. Every assisted living facility has clubs, and your parent is bound to find one they will enjoy.
Not only will joining a club give your parent something to look forward to, but it will also get them to go for a short walk at least once each week. Even if the club meets near your parent's apartment, a short walk to the meeting place is better than no exercise at all.
Get Them a Pet
Some assisted living facilities allow pets. If your parent is in a facility that lets residents have a small cat or dog, ask them if they'd like one. You may have to think through creative solutions for picking up after the animal if your parent can't bend over easily, but the advantages of having a pet outweigh the obstacles. A dog or cat would provide companionship and require your parent to get up several times a day to give them food and water.
Treat Them to Lunch
A weekly lunch from a family member is a cherished treat among assisted living residents. If you live nearby, take your parent out to lunch on the weekends. They'll enjoy seeing you and any grandchildren, and the journey to a restaurant and back may be the longest walk they go for all week.
If you aren't in the area, you can treat them to lunch at the center's cafeteria. This will encourage them to leave their apartment and enjoy a full meal, when they might otherwise be tempted to just heat up some soup or even skip eating.
If you have a parent in an assisted living community like Harbor Lights House Assisted Living Inc, help them find creative ways to remain active. Don't just remind them to get exercise, but consider encouraging them to join a club, adopt a pet, or go out for a weekly lunch. As your parent becomes older, activities like these could have a significant impact on their quality of life.