We all know that exercise is essential for maintaining our health no matter our age. But, I have been thinking that if I struggle to motivate myself to eat well and keep healthy, what motivates our customers to keep a level of fitness. What health tips for older people can help them maintain a healthy lifestyle?
The reason this is so important is that statistics show that people who can remain relatively fit for their age are far less likely to suffer a fall, and as a result won’t need a trip to A&E. Currently 1 in 6 people over the age of 65 suffer a fall each year, costing the NHS £1.6 billion a year in treating fractures alone.
In the UK:
- There is 1 hip fracture every 10 minutes
- 1 wrist fracture every 9 minutes
- 1 spinal injury every 3 minutes
- Of the 500 elderly people admitted to hospital every day after suffering a fall, 33 never make it back home.
Dawn Skelton, Professor of Ageing at Glasgow University says that simply 150 minutes of exercise a week in 10 minute slots can make such a difference as it improves muscle strength. Hence if someone does suffer a fall, their muscles can help the body withstand the shock and dramatically reduce the risk of a fracture.
Regular exercise can also have other physiological, psychological and social benefits.
- Reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease by 50%
- Reduces risk of cancer
- Increases confidence
- Improves sleep
- Opens opportunities to meet new people.
Ensuring that older people drink regularly is also a vital aspect to helping them to remain fit. It’s widely recognised that if older people fail to drink water regularly, they get dehydrated, get confused and then are far more susceptible to falling and injuring themselves. In addition, if an elderly person suffers from a disease such as Parkinson’s, their medication and subsequent fear of falling can really heighten the chances of falling.
All that being said, how can older people still remain fit with all the above taken into consideration?
Here are a few health tips for older people:
- Gentle activities such as gardening and house work can increase the heart rate.
- If you are able, why not try and walk into your local town or village instead of the car or bus.
- Join a local class that specialises in gentle exercise for older people.
- Light intensity sports such as bowls and swimming are great if you have limited movement.
Diet plays a huge role in our health, particularly as we get older. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is vital for strong bones and can help you avoid the pitfalls of falling as mentioned earlier. So eat plenty of fish, and eggs. Also try and include foods that are rich in calcium such as milk and cheese, along with leafy vegetables that contain iron and folic acid.
Many Telecare24 customers order our service after suffering a fall and feel that a careline alarm is necessary to help them maintain an independent lifestyle after their fall. Our careline alarm service can ensure that immediate help is available at the press of a button, even if a person is outside keeping active in their garden. We often hear of customers who have fallen whilst outside in their garden with many commenting that if it wasn’t for the wireless pendant, they may have been stranded outside for many hours. So in our view, maintaining as healthy a lifestyle as possible is the best way to avoid finding ourselves at our local A&E.
But we are also acutely aware that sometimes, no matter how old we are, we all fall from time to time. But if we are relatively fit, the chances of serious complications are very much reduced. In addition, having a careline alarm means that if we do fall, help will only be seconds away.