As we get ready to roll the calendar forward to 2023, it is the perfect time to think about what we have learned over the previous year and what changes we would like to make in the coming year. It is more than just making a resolution that’s likely to be given up on within a matter of weeks. It is about taking control over our health so we can live life to the fullest. If you’re wanting to help senior loved ones take their wellness into their own hands, there are a few specific ways to accomplish this.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Older Adults Make to Improve Their Lives?
This can vary in accordance with each person’s current lifestyle and goals, but overall, the following are fantastic ways to start:
- Engage in more activities – mentally and physically. An inactive lifestyle is proven to be very damaging, increasing the risk of developing chronic health conditions and also earlier death. On the other hand, staying active and involved with enjoyable activities, such as socializing, exercise, and hobbies, leads to a happier, longer life. Seniors should seek advice from the physician for recommendations before beginning or changing any fitness plan, but in general, walking, swimming, taking a class at the gym, tai chi, and yoga are great options. To give cognitive functioning a lift, try learning to play a musical instrument, working on crosswords or other puzzles, learning a new language, or taking a class.
- Make at least one of the following dietary modifications. For someone stuck in a routine of poor eating, it could be quite tough to both change and stick to a healthy diet. It can be preferable to start small, exchanging one unhealthy item for a more nutritious one. As an example, the chips eaten at lunchtime with a sandwich could be swapped for baby carrots or apple slices. Once this becomes a routine, another replacement may be added in. The goal is to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables of different colors, lean protein, low-fat or fat-free dairy foods, whole grains, and healthy fats while steering clear of foods high in sugar, salt, or trans fat.
- Improve sleep habits. Staying active and following a healthy diet can help pave the way for a good night’s sleep, which provides numerous benefits. Seniors should shoot for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to reduce the possibility of obesity, depression, heart disease, stroke, and inflammation while boosting focus and concentration.
- Relieve stress. This may be easier in theory, but is crucial to both physical and mental health. It is important to refrain from turning to harmful substances such as smoking, excessive drinking, or illegal drugs to attempt to self-medicate. Instead, try relaxation strategies like deep breathing and meditation, journaling, enjoyable, calming activities, or talking with a trusted friend or therapist on a routine basis.
- Schedule routine checkups. As opposed to waiting until an illness develops, seniors should see the doctor routinely (at least annually) for a complete checkup. It is also important to follow all of the doctor’s guidelines to control any existing health issues and stop them from getting worse and to prevent new ones from developing. This includes routine checkups with the dentist, eye doctor, and any specialists providing care for the senior.
Want to help senior loved ones start the new year off right? Inspired Home Care’s team of Barrington memory care experts is here to help the older loved ones in your life implement these and any other positive changes in the new year to make it the greatest year yet! Give us a call at 847-787-7572 for more information. Visit our Locations Served page for a full list of the communities we serve.