How can older adults gain their strength back after a long period of being ill?
To recapture your energy and strength, begin your regular activities as soon as your doctor gives you the green light. Next, gradually but surely, you can extend the time you spend every day doing some form of physical activity. However, that’s easier said than done, mainly when you’re dealing with symptoms such as pain or fatigue. Here’s my advice:
Begin small and start with the basics. As soon as you’re ready, start bathing and dressing. If these are too challenging, discuss them with your healthcare provider and caregiver regarding small steps to stay active regarding your situation.
Walking is also an excellent way to feel better and help calm the symptoms such as pain and depression. You should first check the weather, the season, and the safe, walkable space in your neighborhood. You may have to manage the situation a bit. For example, in summer, early morning walks are the best, mainly if drinking enough liquids for hydration is hard at the moment. If walking outside isn’t an option, but walking is still something you’re able to do safely, consider stepping up and down the stairs, walking in the hallway if you live in an apartment or institutional environment, or just marching in place while you’re sitting or standing. When it is safe to do so, time will pass more quickly and pleasantly if you use your headphone to listen to an audiobook or music.
Although it requires a bit more patience than you might have to take these baby steps towards recovery, each step is moving in the proper direction. Once you’ve accomplished the task you set out for yourself, keep raising the challenge. If you can walk for 3 or 4 minutes, try aiming for 5 or 10 minutes. No matter what task you accomplish, regardless of how easy it used to be, congratulate yourself and get ready for the next.