Older adults are being offered a free support pack to help them stay physically and mentally active while we are still at home during lockdown.

The pack, from Central Coast Local Health District, contains printed resources with ideas on how to stay active in your home, exercises and training for your brain.

Geriatrician Dr Tomiko Barrett says keeping active is vital for older adults’ physical and mental health.

“When we grow older and are less active, our muscles can lose the strength we need to keep us safe and on our feet,” Dr Barrett said.

“That’s why it’s really important to remain as active as possible while at home. It might not seem obvious, but there are lots of things we can use around the home to give our muscles and minds the workouts they need.

“Things like sitting and standing up from a chair repeatedly and lifting your knees or heels while holding on to benches for support will all help your strength and balance.”

Dr Barrett also highlighted the need to stay connected with friends, family and neighbours.

“Using apps and having video chats is great, however, for older adults who might not be tech savvy, staying connected can be a lot harder.

“Regular phone calls or texts are important, but try to find hobbies that you and your loved ones can bond over too. Send each other puzzles or jigsaws to solve, or take up activities like drawing or knitting where you can share – and laugh – at your efforts. All of these are good for keeping our brains active too.

“Remember, sunshine and fresh air is important for our mental health as well as bone strength. You could go out for a walk, or even just sit outside in your front or back yard. It will all help.

“If you need ideas or inspiration to get you started, we have free resources available to anyone on the Coast who needs them, and will post them straight to your door.”

To receive the free resources, call Central Coast Local Health District’s Geriatric Medicine Department on 4394 8099.