It’s never too late to adopt the kind of lifestyle habits that can contribute to better health and wellbeing during the senior years. The good news is a shift to a healthier lifestyle can happen gradually and in a way that’s comfortable enough to encourage long-term positive changes. Here are six specific ways seniors can maintain healthy bodies while aging.
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
An aging digestive system slows down, and so does metabolism. These two changes alone can affect the ability to absorb nutrients and burn calories efficiently. Opting for a diet that includes healthy, delicious foods is one way to offset these age-related issues. Fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and other healthy food choices also help seniors by:
• Reducing cognitive decline
• Fighting inflammation naturally
• Minimizing the risk of developing diabetes and other chronic conditions
Eating nutritious foods is one of the many ways seniors can boost their health and enjoy a high quality of life. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Portland home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Manage Medications
Unexpected drug interactions and unintentional errors with dosages can create entirely new and potentially dangerous health problems for seniors. These situations can be prevented with the careful management of medications. Apps and medication organizers can help with this task. The management of medications also involves:
• Reporting any new or unusual symptoms
• Seeking medical input if allergic reactions or side effects are experienced
• Exploring options with non-medicinal treatments to minimize reliance on medications that may have risks associated with long-term use
3. Get High-Quality Sleep
According to the National Institutes of Health, insomnia affects approximately 50 percent of adults 60 and older. If your loved one isn’t getting sufficient sleep, all aspects of his or her health could be affected. While each situation is different, older adults may be able to enhance their sleep habits by sticking to consistent sleep schedules, creating calm sleep environments, and minimizing daytime napping by staying active throughout the day.
4. Exercise Regularly
Exercise, whether it’s daily walking, performing yoga, swimming, or working in the garden, can have a positive impact on senior health and play a significant role in helping the body age well. Various studies have linked regular exercise to everything from enhancements in memory and energy levels to the ability to remain mobile and flexible. Exercise even eases pain thanks to a boost in hormones that naturally reduce discomfort.
Home care can be a wonderful solution when seniors need companionship and assistance with exercise a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. Homecare service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
5. Pay Attention to Mental Health Needs
Most older adults aren’t depressed, according to the CDC. However, some seniors do have undiagnosed mental health conditions that can affect quality of life. Even when this isn’t the case, seniors can reduce their risk of developing mental health issues related to isolation and similar factors by finding ways to remain engaged and connected with friends, loved ones, and like-minded seniors.
6. Be Mindful of Preventative Care
One other way to maintain a healthy body in the senior years is to look for and resolve or mitigate health-related issues sooner rather than later. Seniors can boost their odds of achieving this goal with proactive care that involves:
• Health screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, and certain cancers
• Routine physical exams
• Seasonal vaccinations
• Age-specific testing that usually includes mammograms for women and prostate exams for men
Seniors who need help making healthier lifestyle choices can benefit from professional at-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or 24-hour care, Portland Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (207) 835-4849 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.