Embrace Living with Rebecca Priest: Why We Move

I’ve always described myself as a little restless, but especially this month.  I feel like I need to move all the time.  Moving helps our brains process stress.  Moving helps us decompress anxiety. Moving helps us think better.

Cheryl, the Nurse Leader on Res 3 last week shared a story with me of an elder who “awoke” on the lilac neighborhood.  For the past six months this elder has been bed-bound and not mobile. This “bed bound” became her new normal, until, this week, a compassionate and courageous nursing team said “let’s try getting her up.”

They moved her. This seemingly completely “checked out” woman was encouraged to get up, get out, and see something new in a comfortable chair. This was a woman who has not been out of bed for months.  Do you know what happened? She began to engage again. Movement helped her check back in, or just maybe it helped us to check back in with her.

The lilac neighborhood staff members are going to keep trying and see what comes of their efforts.  I’m looking forward to this elder’s continued movement and stories of her growing connections unfolding. 

You see friends, movement impacts our bodies and brains like drugs; however, it is so much safer.  So instead of medications, or reclining chairs, or yelling “sit down,” or adding alarms that don’t work, let’s give out doses of “movement” to our elders and to ourselves!                                                      

If people are restless, sleeping too much during the day, or disengaged, try a movement “prescription for them and you. See how your brain feels after 3, 5, or even, 15 minutes of moving alongside an elder who lives here.  Elders who cannot express themselves verbally especially may need a little physical movement to process the anxiety of the season, just as you and I might.

Lilac neighborhood staff members are hanging their hats on movement as a path to wellness for elders who are living with dementia there. 

I’m hanging my hat on movement as a path for wellness for all of us.

So skip, jump, stretch, walk, play Wii, or whatever it may look like for you–MOVE!  And, please bring an elder who is showing signs of restlessness and a need to move along with you!

In gratitude for all you do each moment to serve elders, 

Rebecca Priest, Administrator

Skilled Nursing

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