Two girls kissing their grandma

Help someone to Live Longer Better

We are a caring nation, and as our friends and family age we like to help and care for them as much as possible.

Let’s reframe our understanding of ‘care’, in the traditional sense of doing things for people, to ‘coaching’ – so we are doing things with people and enabling them to maintain or regain their independence.

Small changes could really help someone to maintain their independence and physical and mental health. The question we need to ask ourselves is ‘do we care too much?' 

The reasons why someone may not be active

The reasons why someone may not be active yet are wide ranging and normally interlinked. This website covers some, such as incontinence and fear of falling. Age UK suggest some things you could encourage, to enable someone to be more active at home:

  • Break up the amount of time they sit or lie down by getting up once an hour to do light activity, like dusting or polishing. Even standing has health benefits. If that's not possible, get them to move their arms and legs for a few minutes. You could set a timer to remind them when to get up.
  • Get them to do gentle stretches in bed or in a chair each day to keep them supple.
  • Set goals for them to work towards, like pushing up from sitting in a chair to standing position without using a walker or leaning on someone else.
  • If they're a bit steadier on their feet, they could walk from one room to another and back, and time how long it takes. They could try to beat their time every day.

There is a wide range of online or group activities to participate in too. This could be something you do together or separately. Check out the sections on getting started and keep improving, depending on if you or the person you support are already active or yet to start.

Looking after yourself is just as important! Carers Active have produced a series of short video workouts and bitesize functional exercises that feature real Carers. The videos aim to help you to be active in a way that works for you, at home, and at a time that is convenient, while providing an inclusive and fun way to feel the physical and mental benefits.