happy senior lady and caregiver cooking

Have your New Year’s resolutions already fallen by the wayside? If so, don’t worry; you’re in good company. Many of us are excited about an important lifestyle change once we roll over into the new year, but life quickly rushes in and distracts us from sustaining our determination to succeed.

Yet it is never too late to begin again, and it’s particularly beneficial for older loved ones to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are a few key ways to accomplish this; pick one piece of health advice for older adults to begin with, or jump right into all of the following ideas to improve health and wellness for older loved ones.

What Can Older Adults Do to Improve Wellness This Year?

A well-rounded approach to healthy living includes:

Physical Exercise

Exercising is one of the best things we can do to improve wellness, not just physically, but holistically. Physical activity is proven to improve strength, flexibility, and balance – key factors in preventing falls – while also alleviating depression and anxiety, preventing or improving chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and keeping weight in balance.

Physical activity does not even have to be a structured training routine. Daily tasks such as house cleaning, going for a walk, and playing with the grandchildren all count! Speak with the doctor for recommendations and approval before starting or modifying any exercise program. As a rule of thumb, the goal is to shoot for a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderately intensive aerobic activity, along with muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises.

Healthy Eating

Now that the food temptations of the holidays are behind us, it is the perfect time to pick up some better eating habits! Older adults need fewer calories, but just as many nutrients as younger adults. This can be accomplished by choosing nutrient-packed foods “from the rainbow,” incorporating vegetables and fruits of various colors, along with whole grain foods, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, beans, peas, legumes, fish, eggs, and poultry. Avoid foods that have added trans fats, salt, and sugar – common ingredients in prepackaged foods.

Planning ahead is a good way for you to make sure that healthy food choices are just as convenient to grab as their unhealthy counterparts. Try the following tips:

  • Prepare favorite meals (like homemade chili or soup) in bigger quantities and then freeze individual portions.
  • Keep small cups of fruit (without added sugar) on hand, along with low-prep veggies, like pre-washed salad mixes and baby carrots.
  • Partner with a home care agency, like Abby Senior Care, a provider of care services in Denver, CO and the nearby areas, for a caregiver to be sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy selections and to prepare nutritious meals.

Mental Health

It is also essential for older adults to stay mentally healthy. The weeks after the holidays are particularly hard emotionally for many people. Help those you love to relieve isolation, sadness, and loneliness by encouraging them to:

  • Get plenty of sleep: seven to eight hours per night is most beneficial.
  • Seek out opportunities for socialization: volunteer, set up weekly lunch dates with a good friend, register for a course, etc.
  • Take time out every day for enjoyable and uplifting activities.
  • Consult with a therapist for assistance with difficult emotions and gaining a brighter outlook on life.

Realize that depression is treatable, and it’s important for a senior who is exhibiting signs and symptoms of depression to see the doctor as soon as possible for help.

Need more health advice for older loved ones? Let Abby Senior Care, a trusted provider of care services in Denver, CO and the surrounding communities, help someone you love to live a healthy life in 2023! Give us a call at 303-699-8840 for more information on our award-winning home care services for seniors.