June 24, 2019
Your senior’s doctor may recommend exercise for her, but that doesn’t mean your senior will leap on board with the idea. In fact, she might feel as if there’s no way she can start exercising now. These negative messages might be blocking her.
Her Athletic History Haunts Her
Lots of older adults were quite the athletes in their younger days. For your senior, that history of moving effortlessly and with grace might feel like a ghost that haunts her. She may be trying to live up to an athletic prowess that she shouldn’t expect of herself now. Just moving a little bit more can be enough. She doesn’t have to be a perfect athlete at all.
Weakness or Injuries Seem Insurmountable
Over the course of a lifetime, your senior collects injuries and may become weaker. Those all add up and might lead your senior to believe that she’s too injured or too weak now to do any form of exercise at all. Ironically, though, moving a little bit more can sometimes help older injuries to feel a little less painful, especially if your senior is respecting her limits. She can also grow stronger, which helps her to feel less weak.
She Thinks She’s Too Old to Start Exercising
Your senior may feel as if her age itself is reason enough not to exercise. Following her doctor’s advice and exercising within those limitations can help her overall health and it might even help her to feel a bit younger, too. The key is to start out slowly and to steadily continue to exercise. Rushing the process won’t help at all.
Exercise Might Make Her More Susceptible to Falling
Falling is a huge concern for elderly adults, and it’s probably a big worry for you, too. But your senior isn’t any safe from falling if she is afraid to move more. In fact, she might be more likely to fall simply because not exercising can cause her to lose muscle tone, balance, and flexibility even faster. Exercises that help her to feel more confident are in order.
Getting your senior through these mindset shifts can take some time and patience for both of you. One solution that might help is to hire senior care providers to take over some of the tasks that she tries to do herself. That can help to free up both time and energy for her to focus on moving a little more.