We wouldn’t expect anyone to take up intense, high impact exercise later on in life, but we would most definitely encourage gentler ways to keeping fit. Even low impact exercises will help to improve flexibility, balance, strength and cardiovascular health.
Walking outdoors is the ultimate exercise, but if your parent is struggling to get outside what about:
- Chair exercises
- Chair yoga
- Walking on the spot
- Sit to stand
- Slow toe taps
Make it social
Keeping active and attending different activities is not just about health, it’s an opportunity to meet other people, to chat and make friends. Taking part in different activities can be a great way to stay active and give a sense of purpose as well as an opportunity to get out of the house. It may require some research on your part, as you need to take account of location, interests and physical abilities.
The pursuit of something new or something your parent hasn’t done in decades, can be daunting. Here are some ideas you could discuss with them:
Men in Sheds
The ‘sheds’ are a euphemism for a club. The reality is that the sheds are industrial units where men can get together and undertake a variety of activities such as woodworking, metalworking, art and computers – almost like a youth club for the over 50’s! A relaxed environment to have a chat, have a brew and form new friendships while learning a new skill.
Age UK Cheshire also launched Women in Sheds. The ladies only version of Men in Sheds. In the age of equality, why not?
The Castle Community Centre
The Castle Community Centre in Northwich offers a range of computer skills, learning and leisure classes for the over 55s. Under their Active Health service, they offer a number of activities that are run from different venues across the county, including Walking Football, Swimming, Falls Prevention classes, Seated Exercise groups as well as a number of different walks across Cheshire, ranging from weekly strolls to more challenging walks.
In addition to what they offer, there are also many more independent groups that they sign post people to. Some of the exercise classes include Body Moves, Yoga and T’ai Chi. The Castle Community Centre aims to provide a wide range of activities for the elderly in the Cheshire area and have recently created a Dementia Friendly Tea room on site.
University of the Third Age is a fantastic organisation with branches throughout the UK. Not only do they offer monthly
meet up sessions with guest speakers but a whole range of interest groups too. It’s dedicated to giving the retired and elderly activities to participate in, from art appreciation to wine-tasting.
Brightlife have lots of events and activities throughout the Cheshire region. Their website is full of informative topics and activities where people can try new things, learn a new skill, get out and have fun while making new friends along the way.
Cheshire East’s Friendship Café has a friendly environment where people living with dementia and their carers can go to relax and enjoy themselves. It takes place every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month to provide refreshments, chair exercises, music, games, friendship, support and lots of chat.
The café is incredibly beneficial to carers who get the chance to meet and share experiences with others who are caring for someone with dementia.