As we prepare to move forward into 2023, it is a wonderful time to think about what we have learned from the past year and what adjustments we’d like to make in the coming year. It’s 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. There are some specific strategies and tips to help older adults do this.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Seniors Make to Improve Their Lives?
This may vary based on each individual’s current lifestyle and goals, but by and large, the following are some great tips to help older adults make healthy changes in the new year:
- Engage in more activities – physically and mentally. An inactive lifestyle is proven to be incredibly harmful, increasing the risk of chronic health problems and also earlier death. Conversely, staying active and involved with enjoyable activities, such as socializing, exercise, and hobbies, contributes to a happier, longer life. Seniors should seek advice from the doctor for guidelines before beginning or changing any exercise plan, but in general, walking, swimming, taking a class at the gym, tai chi, and yoga are excellent options. To give cognitive functioning a lift, 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 caught in a routine of unhealthy eating, it can be quite hard to both modify and stick to a healthier diet. It could be preferable to start small, swapping one unhealthy item for a more nutritious one. For instance, the chips eaten at lunchtime with a sandwich might be exchanged for apple slices or carrots. Once this becomes a routine, another substitution can be added in. The aim is to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables of different colors, lean protein, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whole grains, and healthy fats while reducing foods high in sugar, salt, or trans fat.
- Get better sleep. Keeping active and following a healthier diet can help pave the way for a good night’s rest, which provides a great deal of benefits. Seniors should strive for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to minimize the possibility of depression, stroke, inflammation, and heart disease while enhancing focus and concentration.
- Relieve stress. This might be more difficult than it sounds, but it’s vital to both mental and physical health. It is important to refrain from turning to harmful substances such as smoking, excessive drinking, or illegal drugs in order to self-medicate. Instead, try relaxation practices like deep breathing and meditation, journaling, enjoyable, calming activities, or talking with a reliable friend or therapist on a regular basis.
- Schedule regular checkups. Rather than waiting until an illness arises, older adults should see their health care provider routinely (at least on an annual basis) for a full checkup. It’s also important to adhere to all of the doctor’s guidelines to manage any existing health issues and prevent 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.
At Abby Senior Care, a trusted provider of Parkinson’s home care and senior care services, we’re here to help the seniors in your life implement these and any other positive changes to make this the greatest year yet! Call us today at 303-699-8840 to learn more.