As we get ready to roll the calendar forward to 2023, it’s an ideal time to think about what we’ve learned through the previous year and what changes we would like to make in the new year. It’s more than simply making a resolution that’s likely to be given up on within a matter of weeks. It is about taking charge of our health and wellbeing so we can live life to the fullest. As we age, there are a few specific strategies and lifestyle changes for seniors to make this happen.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Seniors Make to Live Better Lives?
This can vary based on each person’s current lifestyle and goals, but generally speaking, the following lifestyle changes for seniors are a fantastic place to begin:
- Engage in more activities – mentally and physically. A non-active lifestyle is proven to be very unhealthy, enhancing the risk of chronic health conditions and, in some cases, earlier death. Conversely, staying active and engaged in enjoyable activities, including exercise, hobbies, and socializing, leads to a longer, happier life. Older loved ones should check with the physician for suggestions before starting or changing any fitness plan, but in general, taking a class at the gym, tai chi, walking, yoga, and swimming are excellent options. To give cognitive functioning a lift, try crosswords and other puzzles, learning a new language, learning how to play an instrument, or taking a class.
- Make a minimum of one of these dietary modifications. For a person trapped in a routine of unhealthy eating, it may be very difficult to both change and stick to a healthier diet. It can be simpler to start small, replacing one unhealthy item for a healthier one. For instance, the chips eaten at lunchtime with a sandwich could be traded for apple slices or carrots. Once this gets to be a routine, another replacement may be added in. The aim is to include plenty of fruits and vegetables of different colors, lean protein, low-fat or fat-free milk products, whole grains, and healthy fats while reducing foods full of sugar, salt, or trans fat.
- Improve sleep habits. Staying active and following a healthy diet will help pave the way for a better night’s sleep, which provides a number of benefits. Seniors should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to decrease the risk of obesity, depression, heart disease, stroke, and inflammation while enhancing concentration and focus.
- Relieve stress. This can be much easier to say than do, but it is crucial to both physical and mental health. It is important to avoid relying on harmful substances such as smoking, excessive drinking, or illegal drugs to try to self-medicate. Instead, try relaxation strategies like deep breathing and meditation, journaling, enjoyable, calming hobbies, or talking with a trusted friend or therapist on a routine basis.
- Arrange for routine checkups. Rather than waiting until an ailment emerges, seniors should see their health care provider routinely (at least annually) for a full medical checkup. It’s also important to follow all of the doctor’s instructions to manage any existing health conditions and stop them from worsening and to prevent new ones from developing. This includes regular checkups with the eye doctor, dentist, and any specialists providing care for the person.
Anthem Home Care’s caregivers for seniors with dementia in Portland, TX and the nearby areas are 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! Contact us at 361-643-2323 to learn more.