Why do aging adults end up in supported residential facilities?
It’s right there in the title: It comes down to not being able to get up off of the toilet. It may sound blunt, but it’s a very real thing.
More broadly, the reason aging adults go to supported residential facilities is loss of independence.
As adults age, basic movement becomes much more difficult. People retire, they are less active, and they have fewer reasons to get up and out of the house. So they sit all day, and their muscles atrophy which is a process called sarcopenia. It is estimated by the 8th decade of life, skeletal muscles can reduce by 50%!
That’s why it’s so important need to stay active as we age. We need to find an exercise routine to preserve our independence for as long as possible—not just for our own sakes, but also so our children won’t have to take care of us (or pay someone else to).
The exercise needs of the aging population vary by degree, not kind. What is standing up from the toilet? A squat. What happens when someone falls and gets back up? A get-up or burpee. How do groceries get unloaded from the car? With a farmers carry.
Aging adult athletes may not be breaking gym records, but they can certainly perform modified versions of everything the rest of the class is doing—and a good coach will know how to guide them. Intensity is relative for every athlete in the gym, while range of motion and movement goals stay the same.
Strength training is also critical for aging adults because it helps prevent and reverse osteoporosis (brittle bones). From the age of 30, ladies especially should be prioritising strength training to maximise bone density. Even minor slips and falls in older age can result in broken bones with those suffering with low bone density.
Did you know? Lifting heavy objects increases bone density and reduces risk of injury.
Group fitness classes may or may not be appropriate for all aging adults. At Gas Station Fitness & Nutrition we have several 50-plus-year-old athletes, and they do great in classes. Others choose to start with private sessions or join our Legends class (over 60s). Whatever the service, our older clients remain active.
I am not an elite athlete. I am not going to win any competitions. I am not going to break any records. I joke about it all the time, but that’s not why I work out. I work out every day so that I can stay out of a nursing home so I’ll never be trapped on the toilet.
If you would like to know more, book a free intro phone call.