How can an in-home caregiver help you to stay healthy and active? Adults 65 and over should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you don't get as much physical activity as you need, take a look at how in-home care services can help.
Offer Companionship for Activities
A walk by yourself is a calming way to spend the afternoon. But day after day this solo activity can begin to feel lonely. If you prefer companionship during some types of physical activities, a home caregiver or healthcare aide can hit the open road with you. The added social time will make a walk or jog around the block or through the park an enjoyable activity that you'll look forward to.
Help With Physical Therapy
Did the doctor or physical therapist recommend specific activities? If you have PT (physical therapy) homework, a home healthcare aide or caregiver can help. Even though the caregiver isn't a professional therapist, they can assist with some prescribed physical activities or help you to interpret the medical provider's or PT's instructions.
Beyond helping you with the activities, the home healthcare professional can make sure you get to all PT or similar therapy (such as occupational therapy) appointments. If you no longer feel comfortable driving yourself, have mobility issues that make it difficult to operate a vehicle safely, or take medications that could interfere with your ability to drive, the caregiver can provide safe transportation to and from therapy.
Drive to Classes and More
A professional home caregiver can provide transportation to activities other than PT or doctor-directed exercise programs. The home care aide can also drive you to group physical fitness classes at a local gym, senior center, or community recreation center.
Along with organized exercise classes or programs, the in-home caregiver can also provide safe and stress-free transportation to social types of fitness activities. These may include regular walks with a friend who lives across town, a bowling league, get-togethers with a group of former co-workers for a game of tennis, or similar physical activity options.
Provide Activity-Related Motivation
Are you motivated to exercise? It's not always easy to find the motivation to get up and get active — especially if you live alone. A home caregiver can suggest physical activities, create a weekly exercise schedule (based on your doctor's or PT's directions), or offer encouraging words of motivation.