Good habits are a must for a healthy, safe, and comfortable life. Fortunately, it’s never too late to get started. If your senior loved one is searching for some simple ways to boost his or her health, encourage him or her to start adopting these habits today.
1. Eating Better
A healthy diet is the foundation of life, and even if your loved one doesn’t have any major health conditions, not eating right can lead to poor health in the future. If he or she does live with issues like diabetes or high blood pressure, a good diet can keep these conditions under control. Following a healthy diet may include reducing sugar and salt intake, eating plenty of vegetables, consuming more fiber, and avoiding processed and fast foods. You can help your loved one adopt this habit by cooking nutritious meals or taking him or her to the grocery store once a week to ensure he or she has plenty of nutritious foods available.
Next to a good diet, physical activity is one of the keys to longevity. Not only does exercise keep the heart healthy, but studies have found it can promote brain health as well. Exercising may even prevent depression and Alzheimer’s. Help your loved one find a physical activity he or she enjoys, such as walking through the park, swimming, or playing tennis or golf.
3. Sleeping Well
A good night’s sleep is essential for physical and mental health. However, seniors are at risk for insomnia more than any other age group. Encourage your loved one to stick to a regular sleep schedule and turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime, and make sure his or her bedroom is cool, quiet, dark, and comfortable.
4. Making Friends
Seniors often feel isolated from the rest of the world, especially if they can’t drive or have limited mobility. Isolation can lead to depression and poor mental and physical health. As seniors get older, their social circles usually grow smaller as friends pass away or move away to live in nursing homes or with relatives. Help your loved one get out and meet new people through religious organizations, senior centers, and community groups. You may also want to consider hiring a San Diego in-home caregiver to provide social stimulation for your loved one.
5. Flossing Daily
Not only should your loved one brush his or her teeth regularly, but it’s important to floss as well, as it can prevent gum disease. Gum disease can lead to heart disease and other health issues because it allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Make sure your loved one has access to floss and knows how to use it properly.
6. Relaxing Occasionally
Stress can negatively impact anyone’s life, and seniors tend to be more stressed compared to other age groups. This is why it’s important for your loved one to learn a few ways to relax when stress becomes overwhelming. Doing yoga, meditating, listening to music, or even taking up a hobby like painting or gardening can be effective stress relievers. Consider buying a yoga DVD, downloading some of your loved one’s favorite music, or purchasing the paint brushes or plants needed to spend time on his or her chosen hobby.
7. Maintaining a Positive Attitude
Studies have shown positive people are healthier and happier overall, no matter their age. If your loved one tends to be negative, help him or her find aspects of life to be positive about. Encourage your loved one to volunteer, attend religious services, travel, or find another way to experience joy. Try to keep up a positive attitude when you are around your loved one, and make sure he or she is spending a lot of time with positive friends and family members.
8. Drinking Plenty of Water
The body needs water to function properly at any age. Far too many seniors are dehydrated, which is one of the top reasons they end up in the hospital. It’s also a common cause of death in people over 65. Make sure your loved one has access to water and other hydrating beverages and foods like tea, sports drinks, smoothies, soups, broths, and water-based fruits and veggies (grapes, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes).
A professional in-home caregiver can help your loved one maintain these and other healthy habits. Reach out to Coast Care Partners, a leading provider of senior home care. San Diego families can rely on our dedicated caregivers to prepare nutritious meals, assist with exercise, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Call 619-354-2544 today to learn more.