As we age, it’s vitally important that we do our best to keep ourselves healthy. When our loved ones begin to show the signs of age, they may need extra support to fulfill their wellness goals, and that’s when you can step in and help them continue a good quality of life as they grow older.
Not only do healthy habits prove beneficial for us as caregivers, but they are beneficial for seniors too. Living a healthy lifestyle complete with exercise, good nutrition, and knowing proper ways to manage mental health and concerns can all go a long way toward helping your senior loved one reach and maintain their health and wellness potential.
Whether you’re searching for yourself, or for ways to help an aging loved one, we’ve got some tips to help keep you and your loved ones healthy and stay on a path to wellness.
1. Let yourself or your loved one “be a beginner.” A major reason people may fail at keeping themselves healthy or in attaining their goals is that they expect so much from themselves that they don’t let themselves fail or be a beginner at something and simply give up.
Regardless of age, there is always something to learn and goals to reach. To be successful in health and wellness, start with small, attainable steps in the right direction and you will see improvement.
2. Encourage yourself or your loved one to pick healthy food choices. Regardless of age, many people tend to gravitate to the easiest, most reliable source of nourishment. Unfortunately, many “quick and convenient” meals tend to be highly processed and loaded with sugar and additives.
By purchasing convenient snacks and meals, and putting them in the fridge or cabinets right in front of your face, you are setting yourself up to fail and will likely reach for the first thing you see when you’re hungry. If the first thing you see when you’re hungry is unhealthy, repeated consumption of that food will eventually hurt your health. If you buy a healthy snack such as fruit or a bag of tree nuts and set it on the counter, you’re more likely to reach for that healthy choice to avoid rummaging through cabinets.
3. Promote brain and mental health by keeping yourself or your loved one engaged by choosing stimulating activities and seeking out opportunities to socialize with others. Attending a lecture or participating in a group activity that interests you, such as a book club or art class, can help you feel more connected to others while also promoting the health of your brain, memory, and mental wellness.
4. Encourage your loved one's independence. This means, allowing them to continue to do things for themselves for as long as possible if it is safe to do so. Capitalize on their strengths and help them realize their potential as they age. If something becomes too difficult or challenging for them, consider hiring an in-home caregiver to help them with daily activities and to keep an extra eye on them and keep them safe.
As the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Many older adults get in the way of themselves and allow themselves to become isolated and stagnate, diminishing their quality of life and hurting their wellness in the long run. Stay engaged, and we promise it will make your loved ones feel younger AND protect their health!