Medical advances mean that people are living longer than ever, expanding the definitions of what it means to age in a healthy and fulfilling way. To take full advantage of their golden years, aging adults need to take care of their bodies and make healthy living a priority. Healthy Aging Month is a time for seniors and their family caregivers to examine all the ways to live healthier lives despite advancing age.
Senior Health and Wellness
Aging adults have a greater chance of developing diseases, illnesses, and age-related health issues than when they were younger. Chronic conditions like arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease can limit how well seniors can live independently without help from family caregivers and home care providers.
No matter what their health situation is, seniors can do a lot to improve their lifestyle and boost their overall health and wellness. If an elderly person is struggling to live independently, family caregivers can hire a home care provider that can step in and help the aging adult with daily care tasks like bathing, dressing, hygiene, meal prep, housekeeping, and companionship.
Focus on Diet and Exercise
At any age, a healthy diet and regular exercise can make a real difference in how a person looks and feels. Many elderly adults mistakenly believe that it may be too late for them to start a healthy lifestyle regimen in their later years. Other seniors struggle to make the change because of physical limitations that prevent them from fixing their own meals or participating in traditional fitness activities.
The good news is that aging adults can work with family caregivers and home care providers to make modifications to their meals. Increasing the number of fresh vegetables, fruit, and whole grains and cutting down on sugar and processed food is a good start. When it comes to exercising, there are plenty of choices, regardless of age and ability. Popular options include walking, tai chi, yoga for seniors, water aerobics and chair aerobics.
Boost Mental Health
Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to healthy aging. Too many seniors become isolated, lonely and depressed as their lives change. Family caregivers and home care providers form an excellent support group for the elderly adult so they can participate in outings, attend events and maintain a social life. Studies show that seniors who are more social are less lonely and have a lower risk of developing cognitive issues.
Chronic stress is another common mental health problem for elderly adults. As their ability to take care of themselves declines, many seniors struggle with self-care, housekeeping, finances, and the worries of health issues. Family caregivers and home care providers do an excellent job of relieving the senior of many burdens that can lead to chronic stress and an unhealthy lifestyle.
There’s no doubt that during Health Aging Month, family caregivers should take a good look at their aging loved one’s life to see where improvements can be made. For many, hiring a home care provider is a big step in ensuring their aging relative is living life to the fullest in their later years.