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Serving Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Schuyler, Rock Island, and Warren Counties.

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We frequently see on the news how we need to exercise on a regular basis. Exercise for some people sounds too time consuming and difficult to do, but exercise is important for everyone, including older adults. It sounds even harder if you are confined to your home, doesn’t it? Some people automatically think they would have to go to a gym to exercise. This isn’t true. Walking may be all that is needed to keep you healthier or to help you recover. Even if you are confined to your home, it doesn’t mean you have to sit in your comfortable chair all day.  

Research shows that getting a sedentary older adult into an exercise program reduces their risk of a disabling injury or illness. It also shows that people who are more physically active are less likely to suffer a major injury after a fall. They also are more likely to fully recover after an injury.    

Exercise is also linked to lowering the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression. Walking regularly, for instance, can be as effective on tackling depression as taking an anti-depressant medication.  

If a person can’t get out, consider walking a path inside their home regularly throughout their day or walk outside in the neighborhood and get fresh air if possible. People often go to a local shopping mall, Walmart, or even a local senior center for walking and senior exercise programs. Research shows that an elderly person should strive to walk a total of two and a half hours per week. Step counters on the market are very popular right now and make it really easy to track how much you are moving and to keep you motivated and on track. Older adults should consider these tools to use to stay on track.  

Older adults most often say the most important thing for them is to stay in their home and to be as independent as possible. Regular physical activity can support this. Physical therapy has proven to help people recover from disabling injuries and illnesses and can help with mobility issues that may hinder activity. Most insurances, including Medicare, support the use of Physical Therapy. Often older adults do their therapy to get well and recover but then they just stop. The therapist leaves a plan for home exercises but people often just stop doing them. It is important to continue with those exercises so that you can remain in your home.  

If you or someone you know is getting weaker, having mobility issues, falling, showing signs of depression, or just not getting enough exercise and needs a companion for encouragement, call Western Illinois Home Health Care at 800-228-5993. We are a full service provider offering physical, occupational, and speech therapies. We also have caregivers who can support and keep a person on track with an exercise program in the home.

Amanda Powell, BSW, is a Senior Care Manager at Western Illinois Home Health Care

October 2016

by Amanda Powell

Exercise Keeps Us Happy and Healthy At Home

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