The New Year is upon us, and as seniors envision 2020 – pun intended – there are numerous resolutions to consider that can improve their outlook and make a positive impact on seniors’ overall quality of life in the New Year.
There are many resolves to contemplate as baby New Year approaches, the three most popular being eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight. I’m not going there this year. We all know we need to eat a healthy diet and exercise.
This year, I discovered a list of 12 New Year’s resolutions for seniors that add a fresh spin to previous resolves I’ve shared, that are certain to be beneficial in 2020!
- Review legal documents. You never know when the unfortunate will occur, so it is wise to meet with an attorney to review your legal documents to make sure they are all current, legal and indicative of your present-day desires. These include your will, living will, and any advanced directives.
- Make sure all vaccinations are current. The influenza season started exceptionally early in 2019, so it is imperative all vaccinations are up-to-date for seniors. These include the most current flu and pneumonia immunization.
- Inventory all medications. If anything is expired, throw them out. Do not wash down drains or flush in commodes, as they can contaminate water sources. A brown bag check-up with your doctor or pharmacist can make sure you are not taking medications and supplements you don’t need, and that all are compatible with each other to avoid nasty side-effects.
- Explore new things. You don’t have to go sky-diving or scuba diving to “try something new.” Read a book about something you know nothing about. Learn to play a new game. Go see a movie. Put yourself out there in social situations (out of your comfort zone), and make new friends! Every day can be an adventure in and of itself when you try new things!
- Challenge yourself. Talk to your doctor about what activities you can safely participate in to increase your level of physical activity to improve your balance, strength, flexibility and stamina. Start out slowly, and gradually increase your participation each time. Mental challenges like Sudoku, crossword and jigsaw puzzles help improve mental strength and memory.
- De-clutter your life. We accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. Some of it holds special memories and improve our quality of life, and others are just “stuff” taking up space and cluttering your home and your mind. Get rid of the items that do not add to your life or your family does not want. Remember, less is more. It will help with home organization and estate management for your family when the time comes.
- Understand fall risks. “Falls are the leading cause of injury for Americans over 65,” says Steven Loewy of FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers in Sarasota, FL. “One in four older Americans fall each year.” Even if you are an active senior, it is important to discuss fall risks with your doctor when it comes to medications your taking or underlying health conditions.
- Forgive people in your life who deserve it. It feels better to forgive than to hold onto old grudges that eat at our minds and souls. If there is someone to whom you can extend forgiveness and compassion in 2020, try to do that. You will feel the weight of the burden of unforgiveness melt away, and you will be happier for it!
- Try technology. Technology is scary for seniors because it requires learning new devices and ways of doing things. Seniors have established their way of doing things, and old habits are hard to break. However, technology today makes life so much easier in so many ways, it’s time seniors embrace the “new” tech frontier with excitement and take pleasure in it! This may include getting a Smartphone, an eBook reader, a notebook or an iPad. Once you learn, you may never revert back to old-fashioned ways!
- Keep laughing. Laughter is the best medicine, so revisit old movies, television classics, and friends who always made you laugh! Comedy shows, sit-coms, and DVDs featuring your favorite comedians can all bring back great memories and are guaranteed to make you laugh like you did back in the day. For example, I watched Eddie Murphy host Saturday Night Live over the weekend, and seeing him portray hilarious characters I delighted in decades ago, actually made me laugh out loud! It was so much fun!!
- Share memories. You’ve made to your golden years, so you’ve likely seen and done a great deal over the course of your life. Your journey has shaped you and your family and your experiences are precious personal history! Use technology for audio recording your memories, or digitally record your telling of special moments in your past. If you like crafting, create a scrapbook of items you kept with notes about why you kept them or the events from which they came. If you prefer writing, begin a journal of your life for your family to read and hold onto for generations to come, or commission an author to write your story!
- Review past resolutions. As we age, the resolutions of our past become outdated. If you are hanging onto resolves of the past that no longer apply, or seem irrelevant to your current situation, let them go! This is a new year and an older you with mature perspectives! Keep your vision on 2020 and what you can do now that will make positive impacts toward your needs, desires and your life!
If a compassionate caregiver from Home Helpers® can assist you or your senior loved one in the year ahead, I am available for a FREE Consultation at your convenience to assess specific needs and find the perfect caregiver match. We provide companion care, respite care, homemaking services, personal care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and so much more! Call today: 727.942.2539.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Healthy New Year!
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018 & 2019. 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. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠