Aging is a natural part of life that isn’t avoidable. However, there are things you can do to encourage an elderly loved one in your life to remain as healthy as possible as he or she gets older. Below you’ll find some of the top secrets of aging that can be beneficial for both you and your loved one.
1. Stay Positive
According to a study conducted by a Connecticut health plan, seniors with a positive outlook on getting older are more likely to recover faster from a disability or illness than those with a more pessimistic view about aging. Being generally positive in nature can also minimize issues with depression, which sometimes contributes to cognitive decline.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Pembroke Pines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
2. Eat Healthy
Numerous studies show that eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water and other beneficial fluids can be good for overall health and wellbeing for older adults. Research cited by Harvard Medical School also shows that consuming nutrient-rich foods wards off diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other health issues that tend to be more common among seniors.
3. Find Fun Ways to Exercise
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, muscle mass naturally decreases with age. However, regular exercise can minimize muscle loss and keep bones and joints strong. But it’s just as important for older adults to find forms of exercise they actually enjoy so they’ll be motivated to stay active. Some of the many options include:
• Daily walking
• Cycling or stationary bike use
• Yoga, Pilates, and similar disciplines that target core muscle groups
• Exercises done in the water
Homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
4. Keep Weight in Check
The speed at which calories are turned into energy the body can use (metabolism) changes with age, which makes it easier to put on excess pounds. For this reason, seniors can benefit from enjoying reasonably sized, balanced meals to avoid the health problems that go along with being overweight. The National Institutes of Health recommends that daily food consumption be broken down as follows:
• 2.5 cups of vegetables
• 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit
• 6 ounces of grains
• 3 cups of dairy
• 5 ounces of protein
Another way to handle daily meals in a way that minimizes weight gain is to opt for several smaller meals throughout the day, which can be done as an alternative to the traditional three-meal day.
5. Remain Socially Active
A study published in PLOS Medicine found that individuals with strong social ties are 50 percent more likely to live longer than those with poor social interactions or ties. From joining local clubs and doing charity or volunteer work to finding fun ways to mingle with family members and friends, there are many ways seniors can remain socially active.
6. Protect the Skin
The National Institutes of Health reports that 80 percent of the cases of a common form of skin cancer (cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma) occur in older adults. Seniors can age healthily by being mindful of daily sun exposure and wearing sufficient sunscreen when outdoors for long periods.
7. Get High-Quality Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get roughly 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Plus, there’s research suggesting that being sufficiently rested could help older adults by:
• Minimizing memory issues
• Increasing daytime alertness
• Maintaining mental clarity and focus
• Helping with the body’s natural healing processes
Family caregivers need to get plenty of rest as well. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Pembroke Pines, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To learn more about our premier in-home respite care, call (954) 374-8273 today.