Adding Life to Years – Holding onto Quality of Life & Independence in Later Years

Staying Strong & Fit

While it’s important at any age, staying strong and fit in your elder years has a direct effect on your quality of life. Keeping muscle strength around your shoulders, back and hips means you can engage in more meaningful activities like gardening or lifting your grandchildren. Getting fit means you’ll have more energy on day trips and won’t need to stop and rest as often as before. Both of these help prevent falls and improve your breathing, so you’ll feel less out of breath and more confident in yourself. Here’s some tips for adapting an exercise routine:

  1. Routine: Take on exercise that you can put into your schedule every week at the same time. Make that time sacred so that you only ever miss the exercise for a very good reason.
  2. Social: Arranging to exercise with other people means you’re more likely to get the exercise done, and more likely to enjoy it as well. Chatting and sharing stories helps distract you from the exercise and makes the time pass quicker.
  3. Variety: Having several different types of exercise in your routine keeps the week interesting and makes you significantly more likely to keep up your exercise routine for longer. Here’s some suggestions of different types of exercise older people can try:

For information on In-Home Physiotherapy-led exercise sessions, Click Here!


Avoiding Falls in the Home
Suffering falls in your own home is a common reason for older people having to leave their homes for Assisted Living or Nursing Homes. As you get older, it becomes harder to get yourself back up off the floor when you fall. The consequences of a fall also become more severe. Many older people suffer with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis (reduced bone density, ‘brittle bones’), which means that your bones break easier. when subject to trauma.  Hip fractures are all to commonly the result of falls, and can permanently affect your independence and mobility. Here’s 6 simple tips you or your older relative can adopt around the home to reduce the risk of falls and thus improve their safety:

  1. Move items that you use everyday onto a shelf, cabinet or counter-top at Waist Height. This will reduce the amount of bending, stretching or climbing you have to do, which will reduce your risk of falling everyday.
  2. Wear slippers or indoor footwear that Fit your Feet Well and have a Good Grip on the sole. The last thing you need is your shoes slipping on the floor, causing you to lose your balance and fall.
  3. Use a Grip-Mat in the shower and install Grab-Rails around the bath to help you getting in and out. These places are particularly dangerous and slippery when wet.
  4. Sleep disturbance is common in older adults (which I discuss further later on). Ensure you have a Lamp or Light Switch Near You in the Bed so you can turn the lights on and see where you’re putting your feet.
  5. Mop up Spillages Straight Away when they occur, so you don’t forget about them and slip on them later on!
  6. Wear night clothes and gowns that Don’t Drag or Hang on the Floor, as these are a significant trip hazard.

Improving Sleep Quality & Lifting Mood

As you move into your later years, you may notice that you find it hard to get to sleep and even harder to stay asleep! It’s not uncommon for you to get a poorer quality of sleep as well, leaving you feeling tired and moody during the following day. This sleep disturbance can be caused by many things including medication, physical illness and environmental causes. Some of these need to be treated by your doctor. Here’s some things you can try at home tonight to try and improve your sleep quality and duration:

  1. Take Exercise: Try taking exercise in the late afternoon or evening. Taking exercise in the morning means you’re more likely to nap in the afternoon, which then can cause sleep disturbance the following night. Make sure you’re breathing heavy when you’re exercising so you’ll be sufficiently tired out and ready to sleep!
  2. No TV in the Bedroom: Having a TV or Radio in your bedroom serves as a mental distraction. It impairs your brains preparation for sleep and as a result causes your sleep quality to be poor. Watch your TV in a separate room, so that when you come into your bedroom you’re there primarily to sleep.
  3. Fast before Sleeping: Digestion of food in your stomach can take up to 3 hours after a big meal. During this 3 hour period, its better for your body to remain predominantly upright, otherwise you’re likely to experience reflux or heartburn, both of which adversely affect sleep. This is why is better to wait for a while after eating before trying to sleep.
  4. Avoid Daytime Napping: Napping during the day is sometimes necessary, particularly if you’ve had a very active morning. However if you’re in a routine of taking an afternoon nap for 1-2 hours, you will find it more difficult to sleep in the evening time. Try breaking this routine for a day and see how much better you sleep that evening.
  5. Therapeutic Massage: Muscle aches and tension are a common cause of sleep disturbance, and can be relieved by therapeutic massage. This treatment also helps to improve mood and induce relaxation in the body, all of which will help prepare your body for sleep. Try taking a massage in the afternoon or evening and I guarantee you’ll sleep better!

elderly massage

Book an Appointment

If you’re interested in booking a consultation with me (Sean Flynn), a chartered physiotherapist, then don’t hesitate to give me a call, text or email (contact details below).

Phone: 0861546175

Email: info@flynnmedicalexercise.com

Advertisements

Massage, Sports & Everyday Life – A Faster, Less Painful Recovery!

With the Dublin Marathon taking place this bank holiday weekend, we feel it’s appropriate to talk about the therapeutic benefits of massage after a particularly hard bout of exercise. There will be a lot of people booking in massages for Tuesday and the days afterwards to ease the pain that comes with such a massive achievement. Completing a marathon, or participating in any sport at a high level, brings with it a huge sense of achievement, but it often come at a cost: stiffness and soreness in your working muscles for weeks on end, a constant reminder of your valiant efforts.

Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness

The most common cause of this stiffness and soreness in your muscles is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which we describe as pain that develops in muscles approximately 8-12 hours after exercise. While we remain in the dark about the exact causes, we believe that DOMS is caused by the inflammation of the muscle and surrounding tissue in response to exercise.  During all forms of strenuous exercise, your muscles are broken down and rebuilt anew – stronger and thicker than before, therefore inflammation is an inevitable part of muscle building. But that’s small comfort when your feeling stiff and uncomfortable with reduced mobility & flexibility in the days afterwards.

Where Massage Comes In

We all know that receiving a massage from someone with good hands who knows that their doing is extremely rewarding. They can release knots in your back, and make everyday aches and pains seem far far away. With specific regard to exercise, massage has been shown to reduce swelling in the working muscles after exercise, which occurs as a result of the inflammation we talked about earlier. Massage can also reduce the severity of the pain experience as a result of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness by up to 30%. Massage helps you feel a more full recovery and helps you feel that recovery faster.

Massage is not just for athletes and people pushing themselves to achieve sporting excellence. The majority of us go to bed with everyday aches and pains in our necks, our lower backs and our legs from simple everyday activities. Repetitive tasks, like the ones you do everyday, will likely tend to leave you with some muscles tight and tense, while others are left weak and loose. Massage can help loosen out those tight muscles and physiotherapy can help identify and strengthen up those weak ones. So book yourself a massage with the experts at Flynn Medical Exercise today. We do therapeutic or sports massages either in clinic or in your home – whichever you prefer. We’ll give you a special discount if you book your next one on the day, and lets face it – you deserve it after all your hard work, whether you were running a marathon, lifting weights, or just on your feet all day.