As we get ready to move forward into 2023, it’s the perfect time to ponder what we have learned from the past year and what changes we would like to make in the coming year. It’s not just about making a resolution that’s likely to be given up on within a matter of weeks. It’s about taking control of health and wellness so we can live life to the fullest. For the elderly, there are some specific ways to achieve this.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Older Adults Make to Live Better Lives?
This will vary in accordance with each individual’s current lifestyle and goals, but overall, the following ideas are a great starting place:
- Engage in more activities – physically and mentally. A sedentary lifestyle is proven to be extremely harmful, increasing the risk of chronic illnesses and even earlier death. However, staying active and engaged in enjoyable activities, like exercise, hobbies, and socializing, results in a happier, longer life. Seniors should seek advice from the doctor for suggestions before starting or changing any fitness plan, but in general, walking, swimming, taking a class at the gym, tai chi, and yoga are good options. To give cognitive functioning a boost, try learning to play a musical instrument, completing crosswords or other puzzles, learning a new language, or taking a class.
- Make one or more of these dietary changes. For someone trapped in a rut of unhealthy eating, it can be quite challenging to both change and adhere to a healthy diet. It could be simpler to start small, replacing one unhealthy item for a more nutritious one. For instance, the chips eaten at lunchtime with a sandwich could be traded for baby carrots or apple slices. Once that becomes a routine, another substitution can be added in. The aim is to include plenty of vegetables and fruits of various colors, lean protein, low-fat or fat-free dairy, whole grain products, and healthy fats while avoiding foods full of sugar, salt, or trans fat.
- Get better sleep. Staying active and following a healthy diet helps pave the way for a good night’s rest, which provides numerous benefits. Older loved ones should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night to lessen the possibility of stroke, heart disease, depression, inflammation, and obesity while boosting focus and concentration.
- Decrease stress. This can be more difficult than it sounds, but it’s vital to both mental and physical health. It is important to refrain from relying on harmful substances such as illegal drugs, smoking, or excessive drinking to try to self-medicate. Instead, try relaxation strategies like deep breathing and meditation, journaling, enjoyable, calming hobbies, or talking with a reliable friend or therapist on a routine basis.
- Schedule regular checkups. Rather than waiting until an ailment arises, seniors should see the doctor routinely (at least on an annual basis) for a full medical checkup. It’s also important to follow all of the doctor’s guidelines to manage any existing medical conditions and stop them from getting worse and to prevent new ones from developing. This includes regular checkups with the eye doctor, dentist, and any specialists providing care for the person.
At-Home Care Company’s team of care experts are available to help the seniors in your life implement these and any other positive changes in the new year to aid in taking control of health and wellness! Get in touch with us at 515-292-2650 for more information about our home care assistance in Pleasant Hill, IA and the surrounding communities.