Wednesday 7 October 2015

Keeping Elders Healthy & Active

When an elderly loved one needs to move into a nursing home, the move is often unexpected and can happen suddenly due to a lengthy illness, a stroke, or a fall. Other times, a nursing home is the next best step for an elder whose memory has started to deteriorate. Staying healthy and active can keep elders living without assistance, but health and activity is equally important for elders who live in nursing home facilities. As a child, relative, or friend of an elder, you can encourage and be part of health and activity.

Basic Health

Whether a senior is in the early 70’s or early 90’s, visiting the doctor on a regular basis is important to control and monitor health. Equally of importance, as a loved one, you should know the basic health history of your elder such as “normal” baseline temperatures or blood pressure. Additionally, staying healthy means following through with re-checks or follow-up appointments. Often times, a patient needs to check in with his or her doctor to get refills on important prescriptions.

Eating Well

As we age our appetites change. While an elder may not eat as much as he or she used to, it’s vital to eat quality foods that offer enough nutrition and are not loaded with sugar or sodium. Some elders eat canned and single serve meals out of cost and convenience, but they may not offer the healthy benefits an ageing body needs. In addition to eating mindfully, elders should consider taking a multivitamin, a fibre supplement, and drink plenty of water.


Elders of all abilities should exercise. Whether it’s a daily walk around the block, walking with a walker in the halls of the nursing home, attending a sit down exercise class, water aerobics, or attending a gentle yoga class, any form of exercise has multiple benefits. Regular exercise can keep illnesses away, improve range of movement, improve mental health, and prevent disease. Additionally, an elder who exercises may become stronger and have better coordination which can help in the prevention of falls.

Healthy Mind

An elder’s mental health is vital part of staying healthy and active. As many elders go through the process of ageing or through major life transitions such as moving to a nursing home, his or her mental health may be affected. While many assume that depression is a common condition that occurs with ageing, it’s not. Any changes in mental health should be treated appropriately as unbalanced mental health can affect how well an elder takes care of him or herself (ie. food, exercise). Other ways to stay mentally active is by staying social with peers and family or do activities that challenge the memory such as “brain teasers”.

Just because an elder may slow down as he ages, his or her health should not go on the wayside. Help your loved one stay active and healthy.

**this is a collaborative post**


  1. Such a sad topic. Thankfully my elderly grandparents have been able to stay in their own home with support from my Mum and her siblings. They remain reasonably active too, which is great...

    1. I have seen many pensioner complexes around our town meaning they can stay in their own homes but still have monitoring etc which is much better than an actual home x

  2. Great ideas, I think they can be useful at any age and especially later in life, when illness and lack of stimulation can lead to a sedentary and lonely life.xx

    1. I totally agree, they can be applied to any age group x