From sports to spice: keeping residents energised

Inactivity and lethargy continue to be an issue in many care homes, so we’re exploring ways to give your residents a boost.

Fatigue and inactivity affect older adults more than any other age group, making them a key challenge that many care home providers are struggling to overcome. What’s more, research from Columbia University also found that older adults suffering from fatigue were also more likely to suffer from joint problems, hearing problems, urinary incontinence, depression and social isolation.

Any care home provider wants the best for their residents, which is why we’re exploring the different ways you can boost energy levels in your establishment.

Fitness and exercise

It comes as no surprise to hear that regular exercise and physical activity is one of the most effective ways to boost energy levels among residents. The Department of Health recommends that adults over the age of 65 should partake in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. This should ideally include exercise which helps to improve balance and coordination in those at risk of falls.

Regular exercise is linked to a range of benefits in older adults, including:

  • Better cognitive function
  • Reduced risk of falls
  • Reduced cardiovascular problems
  • Better strength and stability
  • Greater independence and autonomy
  • Improved ability to carry out daily living tasks
  • Improved mood, mental health and self-esteem

It’s important to exercise the mind as well as the body. In this BUPA – Turnbridge care home (furnished by YTM), residents can enjoy crafts and other activities in communal areas.

Indulging in spice

Alongside exercise, diet is one of the key pillars when it comes to energy levels and overall heath in older adults. On the whole, general nutritional requirements and health guidelines applicable to the wider population also apply to care home residents – with some key exceptions. Metabolism tends to drop in older adults, meaning less energy from food is required. Vitamin-rich foods like oily fish and fortified breakfast cereal are key in tackling the physical deterioration that occurs with age.

Attractive and engaging dining areas are key for encouraging guests to explore food as something to be enjoyed. At this Springfield Health – Mayfield View care home, YTM’s designs have created a fun pub dining area for guests to enjoy.

Recent research has suggested that spicy foods may hold some sway in the energy levels of care home residents. Foods like chilli peppers have been shown to release endorphins and serotonin, both of which can boost the mood, increase energy and dull pain. Spices can also improve breathing, improve digestion and offer key vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Activities and hobbies

A large part of the problem with low energy levels in care residents often stems from a lack of motivation. Organised activities and hobbies suited to residents’ interests provide them with something to get excited about when considering the day ahead. At Mayfield View, residents are encouraged to engage in artistic activities together using this designated crafts space.

Research shows that there are many psychological, physiological and emotional benefits to care home activities, including a boost in energy levels. Popular activities include gardening, cookery classes, reading groups and even board games.

BPHA – Warbuton House is another of our past care home furnishing projects. Here we can see how an attractive and comfortable cinema space can encourage residents to engage in social activities and spend time together. This is key because, as well as improving energy levels, introducing activities is a way to tackle the ongoing issue of loneliness among care home residents. Research has revealed that loneliness can be as detrimental to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! And Age UK figures show that 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with friends or family in more than a month. 3.9 million older adults say the television is their main source of company, and 60% of care home residents get no visitors.

Taking the time to converse with residents, and using activities to form communities, can go a long way in helping to fight this issue. By improving loneliness, you’re also improving moods and mental health, which in turn can significantly boost energy levels.

Creating the optimum interior environment

Never underestimate the power of care home design. In this care home furnished by YTM, HC One – Fleming Court, we can see how plush interiors can encourage communal relaxation. Features like the piano even encourage guests to test their skills and engage their minds. The way an interior setting looks can have a direct impact on the users of that space, with bright, clean, attractive décor helping to boost feelings of positivity. Even colours can change the way you feel, with blue being associated with relaxation and sleep, and green known for its ability to energize and focus. Investing in high quality interiors, such as contract furniture, can make life in your care home a more pleasant experience for residents.

With almost 40 years of experience in high quality contract furniture manufacture, here at YTM we know what is needed to make a care home stand out. Give your residents the very best home away from home with designs from our extensive furniture families. Call today on 01977 66 50 50 or click here to leave an online enquiry.

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