Aging often brings with it certain challenges that can make it seem pretty difficult to feel good. In fact, for some seniors, it can feel like their golden years are turning tarnished and rusty. Here’s how to ensure you still enjoy a happy, healthy glow as you grow older.
Don’t Go it Alone
Are you connected with friends and family members on a routine basis? Older adults often face loneliness, and while you might not think that has much to do with health, AARP notes senior isolation can be extremely detrimental to well-being. It appears that a lack of social connection can lead to declining overall wellness and is often associated with a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and drug and alcohol abuse in the older population.
Seniors become isolated for many reasons: A spouse passed away, driving might feel more challenging than before, or maybe there is a mobility concern. However, there are ways to stay connected. You can do some volunteering, get a part-time job, or join a club. If driving is an issue, search for transportation options to help you get out and about.
For many older adults, one potential solution is to move into an assisted living community. Not only is there a built-in social connection, but for those struggling with self-care, staff can also help with daily activities that have become challenging. This would include things like getting out of a chair, eating meals, or dressing. These facilities also provide things like transportation services, exercise areas, and group activities, and residents can participate in as much or as little as they like.
Assisted living communities vary widely, as do their prices. It’s usually best for seniors to visit in person before choosing a facility, but you can get started by looking at facilities online.
Simplify Proper Nutrition and Fitness
Eating healthy, balanced meals is something that falls by the wayside for many older adults. However, the National Council on Aging notes proper nutrition is a key to staying healthy and independent in your golden years. Seniors need colorful fruits and vegetables, protein, whole grains, and healthy fats for good neurological function, overall omega 3 intake, as well as to maintain optimal well-being. Plus, fruits and vegetables can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer. Also ensure you drink plenty of fluids, as it can be more difficult to stay hydrated as you grow older.
There are many reasons seniors struggle with a balanced, healthy diet. One way to get the nutrition you need is to take a daily multivitamin. A multivitamin can improve gut, bone, and eye health and give you extra energy. If food isn’t as tasty as it once was, try some new recipes, or add herbs to your favorite ones. Sometimes cooking can just seem like a bother. One way to make things easier is to prepare food ahead of time.
There is a make-ahead meal for all tastes and times of day, and that way you can just cook now and then. For supper, you can prep everything from marinated chicken to veggie side dishes, then pop them in the freezer until you’re ready. Ease breakfast time with healthy, homemade granola bars, breakfast quesadillas, or whole grain scones. Simplify lunches with blackened chicken salad, taco bowls, or frozen burritos. Eat a wide variety of foods for the best health.
Regular exercise is essential for senior health, and there are many opportunities to work out at home. All you need is a few weights and resistance bands and a mat. There are many videos on YouTube you can exercise along with, and there are tons of fitness apps available. Incorporate some balance exercises into your routine because improved balance can prevent falls.
Get Some TLC
When is the last time you treated your body to some extra TLC in the form of a massage, an acupuncture session, or chiropractic visit? A little special attention in the hands of a physical wellness professional can help sooth your mind and body.
Massage therapy can help seniors in several ways, like eliminating toxins, boosting flexibility, reducing pain, and improving circulation. Acupuncture can help treat things like depression, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and insomnia, while chiropractic care can provide pain relief, enhance balance, reduce joint deterioration, and increase life satisfaction. There are even wellness centers such as Simple Health where they offer all of these services and more in one location to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
If it seems like you don’t feel so great lately, look for opportunities to feel better. Get connected with others, enjoy good food, and treat your body to some TLC. A bit of extra care can help you feel happy and healthy throughout your golden years.
After retirement, Karen Weeks struggled to find a new sense of purpose. So, she decided to learn a new skill. She took a computer course on website building. That helped her to build Elderwellness.net, which is dedicated to helping seniors. This website contains her favorite helpful resources about healthy living for seniors.