Promoting Senior Health and Independence with In Home Care Services
Today’s post explains how ABC Greater Milwaukee’s in home care services can help your loved one build healthy habits by introducing gentle exercise during visits.
Building Healthy Habits With In Home Care Services
Regular physical activity benefits older adults in a variety of ways.
However, some seniors have mobility restrictions, visual impairments, disabilities and other chronic ailments that limit their opportunities for safe exercise.
Today, few initiatives target older adults in need of physical activity. Though research has shown that physical activity programs led by physical therapists may be efficacious for frail older adults, these interventions are generally considered to be too costly to be implemented on a large scale (Muramatsu et al., 2018, p. 779).
But earlier this year, a new study published in the Gerontologist conducted a pilot test for PA programs led by home care aids who “regularly visit frail older adults to provide personal care” (Muramatsu et al., 2018, p. 779).
These PA programs were designed to be very straightforward. The overriding theme was “low cost, low complexity,” with a focus on building plans around the clients’ needs and unique “implementation climate” (i.e. the indoor/outdoor or gym space they had available).
Just like ABC Greater Milwaukee in home care services, home care aides involved in this study would visit clients to first develop a hybrid home care plan and PA program. Factoring in their clients age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, living arrangement, frequency of contacting family/friends, number of chronic diseases, insurance, personal preferences, and goals, unique care programs were created and implemented. Gentle, client-specific exercise was pursued as part of the home care aides’ regular visits.
These were some results from their study:
- Client participation was high. Any long time gym-goer will tell you that exercise is easier with a buddy there to motivate you. Similarly, seniors found it much easier to exercise with home care aides standing by to motivate, support, and guide them through gentle exercise programs – or simply to join them for a gentle walk. More than 50% of participants had “exceptionally high” ratings for program adherence (Muramatsu et al., 2018, p. 782).
- Client outcomes improved. Pre-and-post-intervention data indicated considerable statistical improvements in two main measures of daily activity function. Improvements were also seen in physical performance, self-rated health, interference with daily activities due to pain, use of pain medication, and fear of falling.
- Clients socialized while they exercised. In addition to improving physical wellness, study results also indicated that seniors receiving in home care services also enjoyed greater levels of “exercise-related social support” (p. 782).
Though the authors of this study mentions that their pilot test “is innovative because it specifically targets frail older adults and because it is delivered by the HCAs who regularly visit them,” the truth is that we’ve included light exercise maintenance as part of our in home care services for years (Muramatsu et al., 2018, p. 780). Nevertheless, it’s great to see new research reinforcing the value of our in home care services!
Find in Home Care Services in Brookfield, Wisconsin
At Always Best Care Greater Milwaukee, all in home care service providers are bonded, insured, and covered by Worker’s Compensation. Furthermore, all staff have to pass a comprehensive criminal background and reference check, in addition to our exacting training and ongoing education programs. In this way, we ensure that our clients receive some of the best caregivers our industry has to offer.
To learn more about our in home care services, or explore the full range of our care continuum in Brookfield, Wisconsin, visit https://www.alwaysbestcare.com/wi/brookfield/care-services/in-home-care/ to book a free consultation with a member of our team.
Muramatsu, N., Yin, L., Berbaum, M. L., Marquez, D. X., Jurivich, D. A., Zanoni, J. P., & Walton, S. M. (2018). Promoting seniors’ health with home care aides: A pilot. The Gerontologist, 58(4), 779-788.