Your mother is terrified to exercise alone. Her best friend fell and suffered a hip fracture and never returned home again…your mother is afraid that she will fall and fracture her hip too. She is so fearful of falling that she no longer goes out for a walk at all. In fact, she remains seated in her favourite comfy chair for the majority of the day. The only exercise she gets is the short walk to the washroom, and then back to her comfy chair. You wish that she were getting some exercise so that she does not lose her mobility.
Your mother is not in a position to just begin exercising on her own. She likely wouldn’t know where to start, and her fear is outweighing her need for physical activity. What she needs is a Triple Vitality coach who can assist her with gentle, functional exercises to regain her strength and mobility.
The physical exercise component of Triple Vitality is based on the Home Support Exercise Program (HSEP) as developed by the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging. The exercises are modified to match the senior’s ability. Unlike the intimidation factor of going to a gym, these exercises do not require the participant to be an athlete. The exercises are gentle, and are designed to help seniors remain mobile while maintaining their independence. The exercises increase range of motion, which is very important for seniors. For example, if seniors cannot reach or bend, they lose their ability to dress independently. Each exercise in the program is designed for functionality; it directly relates to a specific element of daily living that is essential for independent living.
Exercises are done with the assistance of a coach who has been trained by a certified HSEP facilitator. Your loved one will feel reassured by having a coach right beside them as they do each exercise. Coaches are trained to modify exercises to suit your loved one’s ability and to gradually increase the difficulty level over time.
Progress is tracked on a chart so clients can see their physical improvement. It is very encouraging to see your ability level, stamina, and functional mobility increase!
Exercise has countless benefits beyond just the physical improvements. Exercise is important for brain health and mental function. It is also an important factor in maintaining a positive outlook and preventing depressive symptoms. As with any other age in life, it can be tricky to be motivated to exercise, especially if trying to do it alone. Providing a trained coach grants you and your loved one the peace of mind and confidence that the right exercises are being done at the right time.
Note: before commencing with the exercise portion of Triple Vitality, clients must have their family doctor sign a form acknowledging the start of the program and the client eligibility to be involved in personal exercises.