Senior Community and Memory Care Neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky (KY)

Caregiver Tips

Encourage Exercise To Strengthen The Heart (Caregiver Tip February 2020)

 

Contributed by: Sarah Marcum, Life Enrichment Coordinator

Sarah Marcum, Liberty Ridge Senior Living Community Life Enrichment Coordinator

 

Studies show that the best way to combat heart disease is to exercise. Vigorous exercise gets the heart pumping! Getting that heart rate up, provides more oxygen and blood to the working muscles.

 

For seniors in our care, we encourage moderate exercise. Most exercise can be modified to a seated position. We work to develop an exercise plan that caters to their individual needs and physical limitations. Building muscle not only strengthens the heart but can also reduce falls by building core strength.

 

We recommend daily exercise incorporating individual interest. For example, if a resident loves to garden we encourage gardening in one of our raised garden beds. If they loved to hike, we encourage a walk on our paved walking paths through the Heritage and Liberty Gardens.

 

For those who like to dance, we create opportunities to dance, by encouraging local group fitness classes to come and invite our residents to join in. If balance is an issue, a game of cornhole, with a near-by-chair to hold on to, is a fun and competitive way to gain balance and core strength.

 

When residents are unsure or new to the community, we invite them to come watch a game of cornhole or an exercise class. Most of our residents are invited by other residents to participate. Walks together outdoors or inside on a rainy day are always more fun with a friend.

 

Posting photos of someone exercising can be an incentive, too.

 

Another recommendation, is to start slowly and be patient in adding intensity and time to the exercise. We take the time to warm up and cool down. The American Heart Association says that muscles typically lose some elasticity with age. We don’t want to see them straining a muscle.

Give us a call at (859) 543-9449 or submit the form below to request information, pricing and availability.

*This form is not intended for submission of personal medical information.

Help To Keep Involved With Hobbies (Caregiver Tip January 2020)

 

Contributed by: Marlene Hendricks, Life Enrichment Assistant Coordinator

 

For seniors in my care, I know it is important for them to be as physically and mentally active as possible. I “invite” residents to join me on a walk and encourage them to stand up and stretch. When music is playing, we just have to dance or sing. The more fun I make the process, the more they participate.

 

That’s why I inquire about hobbies, things a person enjoys doing. Often the elderly discontinue hobbies due to disabilities, or the loss of opportunities or partners. As a caregiver, I can help them make adjustments so they can once again participate in activities they really enjoy. For example:

 

  • For those who like puzzles and games, but now have a sight impairment, I offer puzzle books in large print, jigsaw puzzles with large pieces, large size decks of playing cards and board games (like checkers and chess) with big pieces.
  • For those who would wish they could still play sports, I introduce them to Wii (a motion-driven video game system) so they can once again engage in friendly competition despite their physical limitations.
  • For those who like to read, but struggle to see the print, I turn them on to audio books.
  • For those with arthritis who wish to be creative, we introduce them to adaptive art supplies that make it easier for them to hold brushes and pencils.

 

The focus in on doing things for the enjoyment and the sense of accomplishment. If needed, I modify game rules to lessen player frustration and keep things fun for them. To make things more fun for myself, the caregiver, I don’t expect perfection and I go with the flow.