Having a healthy lifestyle is important for all ages. If you start a healthy routine when you are younger, you are more likely to carry on those habits throughout your life. But the older you get, the more you may start to neglect your health and wellbeing. However, living a healthy life is especially important for seniors. A healthy lifestyle can make a senior feel young again. Whether you are a caregiver or just want to encourage your elderly parents to live more healthily, here are 6 tips to help you get started.
1. Encourage a Well-Balanced Diet
Just because you are getting older does not mean you can neglect a healthy diet. Encourage seniors to fuel their bodies with a well-balanced diet. The older you get, the more your digestive system slows down. Seniors should eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and food rich in fiber to help with this. It is also important for seniors to drink a lot of water throughout the day.
2. Go to the Doctor Frequently
This one might seem like a given, but it is crucial for seniors to go to the doctor frequently in order to stay healthy. This means going to the dentist, eye doctor, and physician, on a regular basis. Going to the doctor often also ensures that they are keeping on track with any existing medical conditions. For example, many seniors experience hand tremors that require specific medication to treat. It is important to check up on these existing medical conditions often to make sure their treatment is going well.
3. Exercise Often
Staying physically fit is important throughout the duration of your whole life! Just because you grow older does not mean you can stop being physically active. In order for a senior to fully live a healthy lifestyle, they should move their body in some way every day. That can be as simple as going on a walk or doing some stretching- just doing something that gets their blood flowing. Encourage seniors to invest in a fitness tracker, so they can monitor their movement throughout the day.
4. Look Into Assistive Devices and Equipment
You don’t physically get better as you age. Although your goal is to maintain and practice a healthy lifestyle, there may be instances where you’ll need help from others. Thanks to the advanced technology today, you can achieve greater mobility with walkers for seniors that are perfect for the elderly who suffer from walking issues. Also, these mobility aids prove that seniors can still live independently while feeling safe, free, and confident.
However, many seniors experiencing an injury, limited mobility, or increased risks of falling remain confused on which mobility aid to use. Ideally, consult with healthcare professionals first to determine the best device for your condition, as well as how to use and manage it. Before purchasing one, check with your health insurance first because they can cover the expenses of mobility aids.
5. Prioritize Mental Health
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just include physical health, but mental health as well. Prioritizing your mental health is important for people of all ages. Seniors should partake in daily activities to improve their mental health, like doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or riddles. These activities will use different areas of the brain to keep them engaged.
Furthermore, seniors are never too old for discovering hobbies and even re-discovering old ones! Picking up a hobby is also an excellent way to meet new friends, whether old or young, that share the same interests as you. As a senior, you can try things that you’ve always wanted to try when you were younger, given that it’s still physically possible, such as the following:
- Give gardening and plant care a try
- Join a club for your hobbies
- Try picnics and stargazing
- Get into arts and crafts, like painting, papercraft, and more
- Learn a new language
- Visit museums, carnivals, and concerts
In addition, seniors can also improve their mental health by adopting a pet. Pets like dogs and cats can keep an elderly’s brain busy and stimulated, plus they offer unconditional love to their fur parents. However, if you don’t think you can fulfill this responsibility, it’s best not to commit to this anyway.
6. Get enough sleep
Each one of us is trading a good sleep for socializing, a great party, or other fun moments. We can not know how important good sleep is until an illness appears. One bad sleep can not affect your immune system, but if you are doing it frequently it can definitely trigger your activities and energy levels. It can easily become a habit that you will regret in your later years.
Taking rest as much as needed is important for Seniors, keeping your immune system stronger, and keeping you away from viruses. Seven to eight hours is recommended amount of sleep every older person should have.
If having a night of proper sleep is difficult for older people, then consulting with a doctor is the best solution. They can prescribe some medications or point some tips that might help to get adequate sleep and have more energy for the next day.
7. Prevention is Key
It is imperative to emphasize prevention over treatment. If you can prevent a senior from getting sick or requiring medical treatment, it will save time and money. Seniors should stay on top of their vaccines, as well as get frequent health screenings that will quickly catch any mishaps. Medicare can cover the costs of various vaccines for the elderly if they qualify, so also encourage them to look into that.
Socializing and surrounding yourself with good company is crucial for all ages. Just because you get older doesn’t mean you should stop keeping in touch with your friends. Feeling lonely is common for seniors, so socializing is very beneficial as it helps them feel connected and in touch with others. Encourage seniors to catch up with friends and family as often as possible.
Prioritizing your health is important throughout your life, especially as you grow older. Keep track of your elderly parents and friends to make sure they continue their healthy habits. Ensure they are eating a good diet, remaining active, socializing, and in general just living a well-balanced life. Offer to go on walks with them, cook them a delicious dinner, and spend quality time with them doing the things that they love. All of these efforts will not only benefit them, but they will make you feel good as well. Maintaining your health the older you get will add years to your life, so why not do what you can to make these sunset years as good as possible.