Elderly Lives Matter®

Improving Life Expectancy With Physical Activity

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2021 | Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

The well-being of nursing home patients rests in the hands of staff members who uphold the responsibility to provide optimal care. However, abuse in nursing homes, including isolation, can prevent residents from staying physically active.

Abysmal treatment and compromised activity levels can significantly deteriorate a person’s life expectancy. Families that encourage their aging loved ones to stay physically active can mitigate health problems. They can also more effectively recognize signs of mistreatment if their family member becomes suspiciously less active.

Exercise and lifespan

Exercise has a number of benefits including helping to managing mental illness and reducing the risks of severe diseases. According to Live Science, exercise benefits anyone regardless of their weight, age or health condition. Studies have shown that people who stay physically active can lengthen their life expectancy by an average of two to five years depending on their lifestyle.

People who have a sedentary lifestyle can suffer ongoing health problems that impair their ability to stay independent. Recovery time for injuries grows exponentially and some folks may never return to full health after an injury. Even as people age, it is critical for them to maintain some activity level in their day-to-day routine.

Inactivity and abuse

People should encourage their aging family members to do at least 30-60 minutes of active movement each day. Depending on their condition, this activity could include walking around the facility, throwing and catching a ball, knitting, coloring or even just changing positions if they sit in a wheelchair. According to AARP, people can also do exercises to improve balance and coordination.

Families with loved ones in nursing homes should watch for a noticeable decline in physical activity and strength. This could indicate abuse or negligence in allowing opportunities to stay active. Families should immediately report any concerning behavior including unexplained injuries.

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