It can be easy to lose track of what we are supposed to be doing to stay healthy. Life is busy, after all, and between work, family, and other obligations, it’s hard to make time for everything we need to do. That can especially be the case when it’s not just your own health you’re looking after, but also that of an elderly loved one. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to take advantage of the new start the new year offers us to get on track helping your aging loved ones improve and maintain their health.
Starting with the Mind
It’s easy to think only of physical exercise when it comes to health and wellness, but it is just as important to keep your loved one’s mind active and engaged with the world around them. Getting enough sleep is possibly the most important component to keeping the mind as sharp as it can be, so keeping a regular sleep schedule is a great resolution to make.
Word games and puzzles as well as learning new skills, such as crafting, gardening, or playing an instrument, are also great ways to keep the mind active. Social interaction is also an important aspect of mental engagement. Isolation is all too easy to fall into as we age, so helping your elderly loved ones engage socially with friends and family can help keep the mind sharp, making new memories while also helping retain the ones they already have.
…and Following Through with the Body
Of course, while mental health is important, the body cannot be neglected. As your elderly family member ages, they may need to reassess their limits and capabilities, but staying physically active on some level is important for health at all ages. Whether it’s walking, yoga, or low-impact options like Tai Chi, exercise is important.
Unfortunately, exercise is also the most commonly abandoned resolution after the new year, so be sure to follow through and help your loved one maintain a level of physical activity that is healthy for them!
Nutrition for Health and Wellness
Eating well is an important part of wellness for both the mind and body. As we age, our nutritional requirements change. Making sure your loved one has the proper fuel for their body and mind can help keep them as healthy as possible.
Some of the greatest nutritional needs of elderly patients are increased calcium and vitamin D, so making sure your loved one’s diet contains plenty of dairy, leafy greens, and fortified cereals and fruit juices can help attain those necessary nutrients. It is also important to keep any medical conditions your loved one may have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, in mind. You might consider making an appointment with their doctor for all of you to sit down and discuss the best nutritional plan for them.
As mentioned earlier, life gets busy and it can be easy to let these good habits fall by the wayside. However, keeping a focus on your senior loved one’s nutrition, exercise, and mental agility will help improve their health and wellness. Make the most of this new year, and make the necessary resolutions to help make their golden years the best they can be.
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