While we prepare to move forward into 2023, it is an ideal time to ponder what we have learned over the last year and what adjustments we would like to make in the coming year. It’s more than simply making a resolution that we will likely give up on within a matter of weeks. It is about taking control over our health so we can live life to the fullest. For seniors, there are specific health and wellness tips to help achieve this.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Seniors Make to Improve Their Lives?
This will vary in accordance with each person’s current lifestyle and goals, but in general, the following are excellent places to start:
- Become more active – physically and mentally. An inactive lifestyle is shown to be very unhealthy, increasing the risk of chronic health conditions and also earlier death. Alternatively, staying active and engaged in enjoyable activities, like exercise, hobbies, and socializing, results in a happier, longer life. Older loved ones should speak with the physician for guidelines prior to starting or changing any exercise program, however in general, yoga, taking a class at the gym, swimming, tai chi, and walking 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 these dietary changes. For a person stuck in a rut of unhealthy eating, it may be extremely challenging to both change and stick to a healthier diet. It may be easier to start small, replacing 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 turns into a routine, another substitution could be added in. The aim is to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables of different colors, lean protein, low-fat or fat-free milk products, whole grain products, and healthy fats while steering clear of foods full of sugar, salt, or trans fat.
- Improve sleep habits. Staying active and following a healthier diet helps pave the way for a better night’s sleep, which provides numerous benefits. Older loved ones should strive for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to decrease the possibility of stroke, inflammation, depression, and heart disease while improving focus and concentration.
- Minimize stress. This can be much easier to say than do but is crucial to both physical and mental health. It’s important to refrain from relying on harmful substances like illegal drugs, smoking, or excessive drinking to attempt to self-medicate. Instead, try relaxation practices like deep breathing and meditation, writing in a journal, enjoyable, calming hobbies, or talking with a reliable friend or therapist on a routine basis.
- Schedule regular checkups. As opposed to waiting until an ailment develops, seniors should see their health care provider routinely (at least annually) for a complete medical checkup. It is also important to follow all of the doctor’s guidelines to control any current medical conditions and prevent them from getting worse and to keep new ones from developing. This includes routine checkups with the eye doctor, dentist, and any specialists providing care for the person.
Live Free Home Health Care, a provider of Concord home care, is here to help the seniors 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 603-217-0149 to learn more. Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the areas where we provide service.