With each birthday, seniors will inevitably grow gray hairs and sport wrinkled skin. In these later decades of life, healthy habits make a marked difference in how well individuals age.
People who age well continually find new resources to live robust lives. They are socially connected, remain physically fit, discover new and enjoyable pursuits and adjust cheerfully to change, including the addition of home health care. A positive outlook also defeats the natural anxieties and worries of growing older.
While growing older is foreseeable, aging healthily requires a bit of effort on the part of the senior. Lifestyle changes can be made to ensure that your loved one ages well:
Habit #1: Nurture a Positive Attitude
Enjoying life as seniors grow older erringly seems impossible. In reality, older adults are just as capable of thriving in new situations and embracing changes as anyone younger. In fact, the elderly are gifted with the wisdom to help them make the most fitting life choices.
Naturally, growing older invites a wealth of obstacles. Those who age well are more inclined to discover ways to surmount and cope with life stresses. Cultivating gratitude daily is key to experiencing even the small joys of life. Infusing hurdles with humor helps many elderly people respond well to issues.
Seniors’ confidence levels are boosted when they tackle seemingly insurmountable problems one step at a time. Self-empowerment also results when aging folks do not shy away from growing stressors. When seniors attempt to overcome life difficulties, their efforts are rewarded with personal growth.
Habit #2: Eat Nutritiously
Aging individuals who fuel their bodies with nutrient-dense fruits, like blueberries, reduce their risk for diabetes by 26 percent. Include daily servings of vegetables, like kale and spinach, and seniors tend to ward off diseases, including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Meals based on the Mediterranean diet offer older people loads of nutrients. The Mediterranean diet is composed of whole foods, like lean meats, fish, olive oil and whole grains, rather than processed foods. Those who age well intentionally skip packaged foods, like pizza, deli meats and fast food.
Habit #3: Stay Physically Active
Aerobic fitness is linked to longevity. Older people who shake their hips on the dance floor stay healthier longer. A senior center that hosts senior dances is an enjoyable way for elderly folks to exercise. When dancing is out of the question, walking, swimming and yoga are exercise alternatives.
Thirty minutes of physical activity a day are enough to keep bones and muscles strong, promote quality sleep and reduce high cholesterol. Short bursts of exercise are as effective as sustained training. Exercise reverses the conditions that lead to aging skin, essentially promoting youthful skin.
Tai chi is an ideal exercise path for older individuals. This gentle sport improves balance in practitioners, which helps older people avoid falls (one of the top causes of injury among seniors). Additional benefits of tai chi include a decrease in arthritic pain, improved flexibility and stress reduction.
Habit #4: Challenge the Mind
Once again, dancing proves to have enormous benefits. Studies show that learning new dance steps stimulates the parts of the brain that revolve around memory and processing speed. Artistic pursuits, like painting, singing, writing poetry and storytelling are equally effective in stabilizing health.
Elderly individuals who regularly engage in stimulating brain-training activities, such as yoga or meditation, experience slower age-related cognitive decline. Plus, the thinking skills of these seniors remarkably strengthens. Yoga practitioners and meditators also experience improved focus and better multi-tasking abilities.
Habit #5: Connect Socially
Chronic loneliness plagues the lives of some older people, leading to the development of life-threatening health conditions. In direct contrast, strong social ties lead to longevity. Healthy interactions with family, friends and the community significantly promote good health and well-being.
The benefits of maintaining positive relationships go beyond providing emotional support. Friendships are integral to developing empathy, self-esteem and healthy habits (friends can encourage good practices, like not smoking and avoiding alcohol). Relationships also give meaning and purpose to each day.
Volunteering and continuing to work are ways to stay connected. Seniors who engage in volunteer activities display cognitive gains and improved physical health. People who work have a wider social network, as opposed to retired individuals, whose network shrinks dramatically.
Habit #6: Drive Safely
Older people may want to continue to drive to remain independent. Driving smart cars designed to embrace older peoples’ unique challenges is well worth the cost of the vehicle. Instrument panels featuring large numbers and letters, for instance, promote safe driving in seniors.
Habit #7: Tend to Life’s Miscellaneous
Sun-bathing seniors should stay out of the sun to delay wrinkles and deter cancer. When doctors prescribe medications, seniors should take them on schedule and refill bottles as needed. Getting the recommended eight to nine hours of quality sleep is key to deferring the brain’s aging process.
Adjustments made to the minor events of life can hugely impact seniors’ abilities to age well. Including extra support at home also benefits older individuals. Professional caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care are experienced in ensuring that seniors receive the care and attention they need to live meaningful, quality lives.
When family members live too far away to directly assist their aging loved ones, Assisting Hands Home Care professionals are up to the task. Our elderly care services are designed to facilitate independent living where needed, while offering a hand in situations that require personal help. The aim of our home care agency is to provide seniors with resources to maintain their daily schedules or help create activities that promote aging well.
Among the activities our caregivers assist with include personal activities, such as bathing, grooming and dressing. We’ll transport your loved ones to yoga classes or doctor’s appointments. Our caregivers engage senior care recipients in conversations to deter loneliness and isolation.
Assisting Hands Home Care in Miami Beach, Florida, provides the comprehensive, non-medical home care services necessary to encourage dignified aging. Specialists are available to discuss your loved one’s immediate or future care needs.