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  • Leah Fischer, PT, DPT

Do YOU Want to be the Favorite Grandparent?

As we age, activities that were once very easy become more and more difficult. This can make it very challenging to keep up with your grandkids. Children move around very quickly. They are on the ground, throwing balls, and learning to walk and run. But, can you keep up with them? Children naturally will gravitate towards the parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent who is the most fun. This means that you need to be able to play and interact with the children if you want to be their favorite!

Why do things get harder?

Muscle mass peaks during your 20s, and it slowly declines after. This decline accelerates after age 75. Decreasing muscle mass results in decreased strength. To help with offsetting the effects of declining muscle mass, it is important to continue exercise routines to maintain muscle strength during the years of increased age. With exercise, muscle fiber size can increase.

In addition to muscle loss, decreased coordination, agility, balance and mobility can become areas of concern and limit one’s ability to interact with their environment and their grandchildren. These issues are reversible and are not inevitable when recognized and appropriately addressed.

Questions to ask yourself:

Consider these questions and how easy it would be to keep up with a growing grandchild. ● Can you hold your new grandbaby while standing? Do you feel unstable? ● Can you get on the ground and play? Can you get back up? ● Can you keep up with your 5 year old granddaughter as she learns to ride a bike? ● Can you throw a baseball with your grandson? ● Can you take your grandchild for a nature walk or hike through the forest? ● Can you go up the stairs to put your grandbaby to bed? ● Can you walk from the parking lot into your grandchild’s sporting event?

What can you do to help?

If you are unable or do not have confidence in your ability to do these activities, consult a physical therapist. Physical therapists can help you improve your mobility and physical functioning. A physical therapist will assess your body, considering factors such as strength, joint mobility, and flexibility. The PT will then relate any deficits noted to the way you are functioning and activities that may be challenging. A PT will help develop a personalized exercise plan to improve your strength and possible. With the help of a PT to assess your current level of function and any existing issues and prescribing an individual home exercise plan, you will be moving and grooving. Your physical therapists at Synergy Family Therapy Specialists want YOU to be the favorite grandparent!

#Favor #AgingConce #ActiveGrandparent

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