We grew up and they took care of us. Now that we are getting into our 4th, 5th, or 6th decade, some of our aging parents may beginning to worry us with their declining health, lacking energy, decreasing abilities and suddenly we may feel the need to take care of them. What is a son or daughter to do? Are there any resources out there? Will my parents be amenable to help? Can they “age” better?
It is difficult to see our parents get older. We often don’t get a chance to see them enough and when we do, we cringe watching dad try to get out of his favorite chair and mom shuffling her feet on the ground while complaining of aches and pains. Oh, let’s not forget, Dad fell last month and hurt his elbow and shoulder. While we can’t stop the clock on aging, there are some things we can do to make the last decades of our/their life more energetic, productive, and filled with less fear.
It is true that as we age between our 50’s to our 70’s, we TEND to lose muscle mass and strength/power (3-5% per decade on average) with the curve further accelerating after the age 70. As our strength and power decrease, our chance of falling tends to increase as we have less resources to catch ourselves in the event of losing our balance. This coupled with a slowing nervous system, potential visual and vestibular system changes, as well as slower reaction times. Finally, and on top of all this, fear of falling often creeps in which makes this vicious cycle even more…vicious!
Ok, most of us know the above information fairly well already. What is a son or daughter to do if they want to get their parents on board? This is a great question and one that will vary depending on the parent in question. There may be some parents that are 100% against receiving help while others who are gung ho to get started yesterday. Most of our aging parents will fall somewhere in the middle and may need some level of persuasion to get started. This is where a good personal trainer with decades of experience in helping our aging population can come into play. They can talk with your parents during a free consultation to figure out THEIR WHY! Most of the population could care less to exercise. We don’t need to talk about exercise. But we will flesh out what their fears are that may be getting in the way. We can route out WHAT they still want to do in their lives and make that the reason behind getting help. Do they want to travel with their partner? Do they want more energy to play with their grandkids? Do they have other hopes and dreams that are fading out of reality that can still be a possibility if they just had more strength, stamina, balance, and less fear?
Hope is not lost. I can help your aging parents get back on track. If your parents need some outside persuasion, then perhaps I can chat with them during a free consultation to find out what makes them tick and come up with some strategies to get them back on track. I’m here, I’m keenly listening and ready to help.