For many seniors, finding a way to stay healthy and safe over the years is of great importance, but it’s not always easy. For some, there are existing health or mobility issues at play; for others, there are factors at home that affect their ability to focus on their well-being. A house with stairs, excessive amounts of clutter, or trip hazards that can cause falls make it hard for a senior to stay well. Diet and exercise also play a big role in a senior’s ability to stay healthy, as well as their commitment to staying social and keeping their brain health a priority.
Fortunately, there are many things seniors can do to ensure that their bodies and minds are in great shape. Creating a good daily routine will help with diet and exercise maintenance, while making changes around the house–or considering a downsize – will prevent falls and allow for better mobility and accessibility.
Keep reading for some wonderful tips on how to age safely as a senior…
Staying social is a major part of keeping your mind and body healthy. Many studies have shown that seniors who maintain an active social life with friends and family are at a much lower risk for dementia, mortality, depression, and long-term health issues. You can stay social by keeping in touch with family members (by using a video chat app on your smartphone, you can see them while you talk, which comes in handy for those who live far away), joining a group at church or at a senior center, or volunteering at a local hospital, shelter, or library.
Consider getting a roommate
Many seniors who have lost a spouse find that their health begins to decline rapidly afterward, in part because they are suffering from isolation, grief and/or depression, and stress. Having a roommate can help prevent isolation while giving you a friend who can help out with the chores and with daily tasks, such as keeping up with doctor’s appointments and paying bills. Battling loneliness is often one of the hardest things a senior has to do, so having someone there with you to shoulder life’s burdens will help you stay happy.
Change your diet
A good diet and exercise play a big role in how healthy we are, but for seniors, it’s especially important to make sure they fit your needs. Most seniors need to focus on calcium, anti-inflammatories, and iron, so lots of dark leafy greens, lean proteins like tofu and tempeh, and berries are all great additions to your daily diet. Regular exercise will help you work on your balance, stability, strength, and agility, allowing you to do all the things you enjoy, such as gardening and swimming. It can also help keep your joints strong and healthy.
Clutter – and certain home furnishings–can be detrimental to a senior’s health due to the danger of falls, so it’s important to look through each room and make sure your house has clear walkways, sturdy banisters, and surfaces that have storage options to keep belongings put away. This will help you stay not only physically healthy, but will also ensure that your mental health is well taken care of. Making some changes to your home so that it’s more accessible will allow you to have a better range of mobility both now and in the future.
Staying healthy and safe is imperative for seniors as they reach retirement age, especially if they want to continue living in their own home. Talk to your loved ones about how they can help you maintain your health every day, and look for ways you can make your home work for your needs. With a good plan, you can stay healthy well into your post-retirement years.
By Karen Weeks, of elderwellness.net.