Caregivers for Aging Veterans – Staying Active Helps Maintain Muscle Tone and Improves Balance
Elderly veterans who require home care will likely have diminished physical capabilities, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop being active. In fact, increased activity can provide numerous benefits for any elderly individual, whether they are a veteran or not.
There are over 23 million veterans living in the United States right now. Several million are retired, senior citizens, and they might require some type of home care at some point in time.
The risk of falls.
For any elderly individual, the risk of falling down and getting injured increases with age. That’s usually a direct result of diminished physical strength, especially in the legs. Losing muscle strength is a byproduct of the aging process. Even those individuals who remain active, work out, go for walks, and keep in physically good condition will experience a loss of muscle mass over time.
The more muscle mass that is lost, the more difficult it will be to remain balanced, especially if they slip or have a small issue with their balance.
This is one of the major reasons why grab bars and other safety features are important in the bathroom and elsewhere throughout the house. Another way to help reduce the risk of falls among aging veterans who might require home care at this time is to get more active.
How does being active reduce the risk of falls?
Being more active means the elderly individual will be getting more exercise as a result. It might not be the type of exercise a younger person associates with being beneficial, such as heading to the gym, but walking, playing a sport, doing any type of activity is going to be moving their muscles around, getting oxygen flowing through the body more effectively, and that’s going to have a direct impact on their strength, agility, and even their balance.
Notice that this is not stating the risk of falling is eliminated; it focuses on diminishing those risks, or decreasing them. The aging veteran will still need to be careful, focus on safety and not try to overdo it. Getting proper home care for the veterans who require it is important to help them remain active.
If you have an elderly veteran in your life who might require home care at this time, consider talking to them about hiring an aid in order to stay active or increase the level of activity they are doing right now.