Staying Independent: Keeping Seniors Mobile
By Western Berks on August 22nd, 2018
Staying Independent: Keeping Seniors Mobile In Life and Behind the Wheel
Today’s older Americans are healthier and more active than ever before. Staying independent and living a full, happy life for as long as possible is the goal.
Independence can be defined as the ability to perform basic activities of daily living without help. Some people believe that if they never exercised regularly before, that starting now won’t do any good. Exercising at any age offers benefits, even among older individuals who did not exercise regularly in the past.
Starting an exercise program can be a challenge regardless of how old you are. Our advice: contact a physical therapist to design a custom home exercise program for you! Below are some suggestions of how to get in safe, effective exercise during your week!
- Contact a physical therapist to design a home exercise program for you. This can be customized to fit your goals and needs!
- Go for a walk! A steady stroll through your neighborhood or nearby park is a great way to get in some heart friendly cardio!
- Keep your muscles strong using light weights at the gym. Two times a week is preferred but make sure not to lift two days in a row to avoid fatigue and injury. Many gyms have trainers who are happy to assist you in learning how to lift safely and within your limits.
- Stretch lightly to improve flexibility and balance every day. A great way to learn new stretches and breathing exercises is to attend a yoga class. Restore your body and mind all in one!
- Try out water aerobics! Water aerobics is easy on the joints and refreshing and fun!
Start slow when starting a new exercise program. Start by exercising 10 minutes per day and work your way up. Older people who are physically more active and who exercise regularly are more likely to walk independently and do other activities of daily living on their own, such as driving.
By 2030, there will be more than 60 million people age 65 and older licensed to drive in the US. While senior drivers are among the safest drivers, seniors are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash due to age-related fragility. With the exception of teenagers, seniors have the highest crash death rate per mile driven.
AAA works to protect and promote independence among seniors and offer driver improvement courses which not only keep you safe, but can get you a discount on your auto insurance too!
AAA’s Safe Driving for Mature Operators Course helps mature drivers become even safer behind the wheel by presenting techniques mature operators can employ to better cope with today’s driving environment and extend their safe driving years.
If you prefer to learn in your pajamas, check out AAA’s Seniors Safe Driving Course. This online, web-based course is designed to help seniors learn about age-related physical changes that may impact their ability to drive safely, followed by tips on how to adjust to those changes. Enjoy the convenience of taking the course at your own pace in the comfort of your home.
AAA is dedicated to keeping seniors driving for as long as safely possible. To learn more about AAA and its programs, visit seniordriving.aaa.com.
If you’d like to be more independent but have physical limitations holding you back, consult a physical therapist today. They can design a treatment plan plus a program of activities that will work best for your fitness goals to safely keep you fit and healthy! Keeping fit leaves your body, energy levels, and mind in peak form. Remember, if you have a pain or injury preventing participation in the activities you love, call a therapist today!