Community Blog

Ten Healthy Resolutions for Seniors in the New Year

By Debbie Humphrey

We survived another year, folks, and it serves as a precious milestone for many aging adults.

As we ease into Baby New Year 2018, excitement and anticipation still touches my soul and delights my spirit to have a fresh opportunity and motivated drive to better myself in some way, shape or form. This is when our New Year’s resolutions begin, with hopes they won’t wane by month’s end.

There are any number of resolves to contemplate during New Year’s Resolution Week, but the three most popular include eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight. Perhaps, you have made these resolutions in your past, or they are your current goals. The American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation lists ten healthy resolutions for seniors in the New Year, which might inspire you or someone you love to succeed in keeping a firm commitment to good health.

-Eat more of the good stuff. We must all fuel our bodies with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. A balanced diet including multiple servings of vibrantly-colored fruits and veggies; leaner cuts of meat like chicken or turkey; and fish selections of salmon, tuna and shrimp; are the best choices.

-Consider Vitamins & Supplements. Always consult with your physician about vitamins and supplements that would be beneficial based upon your individual health needs and overall dietary plan.

-Stay active. Like good nutrition, physical activity is crucial for adults of any age, but especially for seniors. Health conditions like heart problems, diabetes, and arthritis, might actually improve with an exercise regimen. Walking, tai chi, water aerobics and yoga are low-impact activities that help build muscle and bone strength; as well as improve balance, posture and mood. It’s possible your insurance plan offers a “Silver Sneakers” program, which can provide access to local fitness centers, so it’s worth the inquiry!

-Visit your Primary Care Provider. It goes without saying that seniors should see their doctor or nurse practitioner at least once per year for a Medicare wellness check. This thorough evaluation serves as an update of your current health status; a review of your current medication and supplement list; and a determination of required diagnostic tests. This is also the perfect time to discuss your health and fitness goals; exercise directives; and recommendations for vitamins, supplements and immunizations/vaccinations.

-Limit the spirits. Alcohol is a sedative that can cause physical and mental maladies. Depression, physical disease, and interactions with medications are exacerbated with alcohol use and abuse. Choose a smaller glass and consume less alcohol to reduce falling risks, negative drug interactions, and weight gain, which will improve overall mind-body health. Older men should imbibe no more than 14 drinks/week, and older women should not have more than 7/week.

-Take measures to prevent falls. Falls are the number one cause of physical injury and death among seniors, and one in three seniors suffer a fall every year. Certain exercises improve flexibility, strength and balance, thereby reducing the risk of falls. Additionally, “safety-proofing” the home by adding grab bars near the bath/shower; removing slippery throw rugs; securing wayward cords; and plugging-in a nightlights to luminate dark rooms and corridors, help prevent incidences of falling.

-Boost your brain daily. The more seniors use their minds, the better. Read a good book (the library is full of them, if you don’t use technology); work crosswords, Sudoku, seek-a-word, and picture puzzles; and engage with others more to keep your brain active and functioning at its optimum.

-Quit smoking. Seniors reduce the risk of serious health issues, exhibit more energy and sleep better when they quit smoking. It may be the toughest habit to break, but it’s worth it. Most people try four times before they are successful “quitters”. Don’t let the tobacco beat you. There are lots of resources to help! (tobaccofreeflorida.com)

-Talk to others when feeling blue. One in five seniors suffers from depression and anxiety. Fatigue, lingering sadness, isolation and loss of appetite are signs of depression that should be taken seriously. If you recognize these symptoms, reach out to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, your doctor or professional counselor.

-Catch more winks. Studies have shown most people do not get enough sleep. Adults, including seniors, require 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Avoid daily naps and caffeine late in the day for good, quality sleep each night.

Always remember to check with your physician before starting a new diet or exercise routine!

I am happy to discuss what my team of caregivers and I can do to help support healthy resolutions for seniors in the New Year.

We offer transportation assistance, meal preparation, companion care, and so much more!

Home Helpers® is honored to have been awarded the Provider of Choice 2017 award from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Contact me today for a FREE consultation to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® We are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539

Source: HealthinAging.org