Find out some useful tips and tricks, information and approaches to ensuring your client remains active and healthy in winter.
Adult obesity in the UK has risen by 15% within the last few years, and the age group most likely to be obese is 55-64. There are also 70% more obese people aged over 45 than below. In winter, elderly obesity can be a real problem as the colder weather makes indulgent foods much more inviting, and a lack of movement is more likely because of the temperature and more difficulty getting about because of the weather.
As a carer, you are in a great position to help your client remain active in winter so they maintain a healthy weight, and stay mobile and strong. This is true whether you visit daily to provide homecare or if you have a live-in carer job and live in your client’s home.
Keeping your client active in winter is crucial to helping them stay engaged in life during these colder months. Here are some winter activity ideas to help you keep your client healthy and happy during this challenging time of the year:
A Walk Outdoors
Walking outdoors isn’t a definite no in winter, you just have to make some allowances, and plan ahead. Do ensure that:
- The weather is fine enough not to soak you and your client through, or cause very slippy surfaces
- The area you are walking is suitable for walking aids/ wheelchairs if your client uses them
- The area you are walking in is fairly flat if your client is unable to navigate uneven or hilly terrain
- The area isn’t very busy if your client has dementia and struggles with crowds/ noise
- You have lots of warm clothes on hand, and hand-warmers/ a hot flask of soup or tea
Even a fifteen minute walk will help the circulation and get the muscles working, and at the very least being outdoors will be a mood booster.
If outdoors is not an option for walking, there are plenty of indoor walking options. A walk around a large library or bookshop, garden centre or museum could be both mentally and stimulating and provide some exercise away from the winter weather.
Go To An Age-Appropriate Exercise Class
There are lots of classes put on especially for the elderly, ranging from swimming to zumba to wheelchair based exercise. It is indoors so the weather won’t affect it, and it may even provide the perfect social situation to help your client make some new friends.
Start A Hobby
There are lots of hobbies you can recommend to your client to get them moving. Gardening is a great option, as it can be done both indoors and outdoors. Bird spotting or photography is another great option as it requires enthusiasm and movement. Find out what your client is interested in and find an active hobby to match.
Depending on the abilities of your client, you could look into volunteer opportunities to not only help them to be active, but to help them feel like they have a sense of purpose. Walking dogs with you at a local dog shelter, gardening as part of a community project, helping to clean out animals at a local sanctuary or cooking at a local homeless shelter could all be excellent forms of exercise that also give a sense of purpose. It does depend on the abilities of your client and will require plenty of research on your part, but it could be a fantastic idea for winter exercise.
Do You Want To Help Your Client With More Than Their Exercise Regime?
If you love being a carer in a residential care home, or as a visiting home help, you might want to consider making even more of a difference to your client with a live-in care job. Live-in care jobs are becoming more and more available as the need for care increases, and people want an alternative to residential care homes. There are many benefits to both the client, and you, and you can find out more at the Live-in Care Hub. If you want to apply your care experience and passion in a way that enhances the life of an individual who wants to stay living in the place they love the most, whilst maintaining their independence, look into live-in care jobs today, it could be the best career decision you ever make.