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Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors
Helping your aging family members set down their resolutions can be a crucial first step in empowering them to live a more active, healthy, and enriched life. Looking for some ideas to bring up as part of this conversation? Here are a few meaningful, helpful resolutions to consider for the year ahead:
Eat a more balanced diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for seniors to stay in good health. According to the USDA, it is recommended to include a variety of foods from all food groups to reduce the risk of health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
While it is always advised to limit sugar, sodium, and saturated fats, if your senior loved one is resistant to reducing their intake of these items, you can focus on incorporating more nutritious foods into their diet instead.
Seniors should aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily to get essential nutrients like protein, potassium, calcium, fiber, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12. Include lower-fat meats, heart-healthy fish, nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains, yogurt, and low-fat milk for a balanced diet.
And remember to stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water each day.
Get more active
Just a small amount of daily physical activity can have a tremendous impact! Encourage your loved one to explore activities like taking leisurely walks, joining a specialized fitness class for seniors, practicing gentle stretches, or even adopting an active hobby within the comfort of their own home.
Meet new people
There are countless enjoyable and rewarding opportunities for seniors to create new friendships and establish important social connections, whether it be by joining a local senior center or actively participating in community volunteering. These valuable connections can greatly contribute to the overall well-being and improved quality of life for older adults.
Make the home safer
Falls are among the most serious health concerns facing older adults. Boost your strength, balance, and flexibility with invigorating exercises like walking or using an elastic band. These activities can also help prevent falls. Don’t forget to consult your healthcare provider to ensure that your medication isn’t increasing your risk of falling. Make your home safer by removing trip hazards such as throw rugs and installing grab bars in your bathtub or shower. Additionally, enhance visibility during nighttime by installing convenient night lights.
Keep your mind sharp
Keeping the mind sharp is of utmost importance to older individuals! There are a multitude of methods to stimulate seniors’ brains, ranging from engaging in new experiences daily, acquiring a new language, participating in games, or exploring the world of arts and crafts.
Check in with your healthcare provider regularly
Make sure to schedule your annual Medicare wellness visit with your healthcare provider during your birthday month for a personalized discussion on health screenings and any updates to your advance directives. Take the opportunity to have an open conversation with your provider about all the medications you are currently taking and assess if they are still necessary. Additionally, inquire about the need for any new or booster immunizations/shots to stay up-to-date on your health.
Plan for the future
Although it may seem challenging to initiate, engaging in conversations about estate planning and long-term care can prove to be immensely beneficial for older individuals. The present year offers an excellent chance to revise their will and other estate planning documents, streamline paperwork, and commence addressing the numerous crucial factors associated with long-term care.
Get plenty of sleep
Think older adults need less sleep than younger people? Think again! As it turns out, seniors actually need just as much shut-eye—about 7 to 8 hours a night. Say no to daytime naps that can disrupt your evening sleep schedule. For additional tips on how to achieve a better night’s rest, be sure to check out the National Sleep Foundation’s website.
Seniors often find it challenging to make lifestyle changes as they are more comfortable with their own routines. However, these healthy New Year’s resolutions are not only beneficial but also vital for their well-being. Instead of aiming for unrealistic goals, seniors can start with making small adjustments to enhance their daily lives. And what better time to initiate this transformation than the start of the New Year?