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The Importance of Regular Physical Activity in Seniors

June 3, 2019 | Villa Cathay Blog

Exercise gets harder with age.  When we were younger, we enjoyed childhood favorite games like tag or hide-n-seek, but as we became older, our bodies gradually cannot do the things that they used to do love doing.

As we age, the risk of us developing Sarcopenia increases.  Sarcopenia refers to the gradual loss of muscle mass and strength due to age.  However, studies have shown that Sarcopenia and can be easily remedied with regular exercise.  Exercise becomes even more important as we age!

Here at Villa Cathay, we encourage and keep our residents active. Angel Ip, our Rehabilitation Assistant, routinely works with  our residents to participate in fun and suitable exercises. It is never too late to start exercising!

Introducing: Angel Ip – Rehabilitation Assistant

Angel graduated from Capilano University’s Rehabilitation Program in 2018. Her passion in health care originated from her volunteering experience at a long-term care facility. She witnessed the kindness and heart that the care staff showed when working with seniors and it inspired her to help seniors enjoy their lives with as much mobility as possible. Becoming a Rehabilitation Assistant gave her a sense of fulfillment to care for seniors, who reminded her so much of her own grandparents.

Balloon Bumping – A Simple Home Activity

It can be challenging for some of our seniors to even lift their arms; thus, activities for our residents need to be simpler and easier. Convenience is another hurdle as many are not able to leave their rooms; therefore, Angel designed some activities they can do anywhere in Villa Cathay!

Our newest, most popular activity is called “Balloon Bumping”. With this activity, you just need two rackets and a balloon filled with air. You can do this at home with your senior as well! This new activity was inspired by Angel’s imagination to innovate badminton into a more senior friendly activity. Angel would throw the balloon up in the air and bump it towards the resident with a racket. The key is to have the resident bump the balloon back to Angel and see how high they can rally to.

Many of our residents love to compete against each other, you could hear them announcing their current rallies and actively competing for the highest number of rallies. When bumped with stray balloons, the seniors simply chuckled. The energy in the room and amount of sportsmanship was simply amazing.

Balloon Bumping may sound simply like you’re just passing a balloon around, but it keeps our seniors moving. That is very important to help our residents stay healthy. Some families noted that even seniors who do not normally come out of their rooms, came out to join the activity. Families are happy that their loved ones are participating in physical activities to stay active especially while having a blast!

Bonus: Angel’s Personal Favorite Physical Activity

The Ankle pump – simply move your ankle up and down, and around in circles, for 1 minute at a time and repeat as much as possible. This helps to prevent blood clots and allow for blood to flow back from the feet to the heart.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the activities for Villa Cathay residents, please feel free to reach out to us at 604-254-5621 or email info@villacathay.ca.

 

 

 

 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sarcopenia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5601266/

 

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