Community Blog

Is Your Elderly Family Member Discouraged Because She's Not Seeing Results from Exercise Yet?

By Vicki and Brian Day

Starting a new exercise plan is a lot of work. And sometimes it feels as if all that work isn't getting much of anywhere. This could be discouraging for your aging family member, which means you need to figure out a solution to help her keep exercising.

Keep an Exercise Journal

Humans tend to downplay what we accomplish. The same is true for your aging adult and her exercise plan. It's easy to forget that she had a tough time walking for more than a couple of minutes at a time at first, for example. But if you and your elderly family member are keeping an exercise journal, you can help her to look back at all that she's accomplished while she's been exercising. Even if she's only been exercising for a few days, there are some wins in there.

Take Some Pictures

Start making it a habit to take pictures of your aging family member. You don't have to make her pose every day, but capturing at least one full body picture every day gives you and her a chance to see what exercise does for her. Your elderly family member is likely to start standing differently, stop relying on chairs for balance, and her body may become visibly more fit. Seeing the pictures can really help her to see the differences.

Break Down Larger Goals

It's possible that your senior family member has some big goals that she wants to achieve via exercise. In fact, that could be part of why she's getting frustrated with smaller results now. One way around this mental block is to take every big goal and to break it down into lots of much smaller goals. Smaller goals are faster to tick off the list and your elderly family member gets a more realistic look at everything that she's truly accomplishing.

Use Rewards to Motivate Your Elderly Family Member

Sit down with your senior family member and come up with some rewards that she wants to associate with exercise. Hitting specific goals can then trigger a certain reward, which is incredibly motivating for your elderly family member. Think about rewards such as visiting a special museum or doing something she's wanted to do for a while.

Having a support system can also help your aging adult stick with her exercise routine. Let other family members and senior care providers know how they can keep your elderly family member motivated.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN NORTHAMPTON, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.