As women grow older and become more susceptible to serious health conditions, it becomes increasingly important for them to take care of their bodies so they can remain healthy. Toronto, ON, in-home senior care experts have a few suggestions to help senior women get into better shape.
Monitor Medication Side Effects
Prescription medications can cause side effects that may lead to exercise intolerance. If your elderly loved one takes beta blockers, which are medications used in the management of high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, and migraines, she may be unable to exercise. This is especially important in postmenopausal women because they are at greater risk for fatigue due to depleted estrogen stores. Beta blocker side effects may include fatigue, dizziness, pain or heaviness in the legs, blurred vision, and drowsiness. If your loved one is unable to effectively exercise in the hopes of getting into better shape, talk to her physician about lowering the dosage or recommending a different medication altogether. Your loved one may also have a hormonal imbalance that needs to be treated to eliminate fatigue. Estrogen deficiencies are common in older women, but they can usually tolerate the medication side effects once these deficiencies are corrected.
Older women are sometimes at risk for dehydration. Medications known as diuretics, or “water pills,” lead to excessive urination, which can cause dehydration. When dehydration occurs, fitness levels can decrease and the cardiovascular system has to work harder. Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can help senior women prevent dehydration so they can participate in activities that help keep them in shape. Women are prone to the effects of dehydration on the urinary tract, and even mild dehydration can lead to a urinary tract infection. When an elderly woman has a urinary tract infection, pain, fever, and fatigue may be preventing her from attaining her fitness goals.
Get a Dog
When senior women own dogs, they are more likely to take walks and play in the yard with their pets. Both of these activities help increase fitness levels while creating bonds between the pet and its owner. Walking a dog can also help women overcome the effects of osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease that can cause brittleness and is much more common in senior women than in men.
Consuming heavy, fat-laden foods can slow elderly women down and make them feel less motivated to stay fit. Eating lighter foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, and lean meats, fish, and poultry can help keep weight within normal limits while providing the energy older women need to engage in exercise. A healthy diet can also help lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels and keep systemic inflammation at bay. Post-menopausal weight gain often affects women in the belly or abdominal area. Too much adipose tissue in the stomach may slow women down, leading to exercise intolerance and fatigue.
If your loved one needs help staying fit and healthy, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained caregivers can assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and help with many important daily tasks. For more information on the live-in and respite care Toronto, ON, seniors rely on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (416) 488-8777 today.