Our ability to age well is influenced by a variety of things. Genetics, for example, have a strong influence on our health but is something we cannot control. Others, like exercise, eating a good diet and visiting the doctor regularly is within our control.
An often overlooked aspect of physical health is mental health. Studies have shown that older adults who are socially isolated or feel lonely are at higher risk for heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline.
Aging healthy does not need extreme discipline. Even small activities, such as walking regularly can help. For example, a recent study by US-based National Institute of Health concluded that:
“Adults 40 and older found that taking 8,000 steps or more per day, compared to only taking 4,000 steps, was associated with a 51% lower risk of death from all causes.”
Below we discuss how aging can impact us and a few tips for seniors on how to stay healthy after 65.
How aging impacts us
Strength, speed, and stamina are just a few of the physical characteristics that deteriorate with age. In addition, the ability of our bodies to coordinate motion also weakens.
These changes together mean that as adults get older, they might not be able to do things they took for granted before, such as rushing to catch a bus, walking around the garden, carrying groceries into the house or maintaining a balance on a slick surface.
In addition, many situations associated with aging, such as social isolation, loneliness, stress, sadness, and mood swings from medication, impact mental health, which can not only compromises the seniors’’ ability to think, feel, act, take decisions, and interact with others, but also their physical health.
Health tips for the elderly to combat the mental impacts of aging
Healthy aging requires managing social isolation, loneliness, stress, sadness, and mood through medical and self-care. Here are a few elderly care tips for healthy mental aging :
1) Keeping in touch with others
Avoiding isolation can help improve the mood and overall well-being. Setting aside time each day to connect with friends and family, over the phone or in person, can help keep the seniors connected. Caregivers can be hired to provide companionship to seniors daily and support them with the activities of daily living.
Meditation, physical movement, and engaging in things that bring enjoyment can all help seniors manage stress. Maintaining a journal is a form of meditation also and can also assist in identifying and challenging negative or unhelpful thoughts. Part of home care Hamilton is to aid the elderly do meditation or journal writing whatever works.
3) Avoiding depression
Depression can be debilitating for seniors but is curable, even if it is severe. It’s critical to get assessed by a health care provider as soon as symptoms get noticed by the seniors’ family or their caregiver. Common signs of depression include lack of sleep, loss of appetite, intense sadness and emotional numbness. Families and caregivers should keep an eye out for these and get professional support as soon as they notice them.
4) Getting out
One of the best ways to maintain mental health is to engage in pleasurable activities. Attending a sporting event, trying a new restaurant, or visiting a museum to get out and about are examples of interesting activities that families and senior caregivers can help seniors engage in.
Health tips for the elderly to combat the physical impacts of aging
There are many ways seniors can improve their chances of maintaining optimal health with aging. Here are a few elderly care tips for healthy physical aging :
1) Exercising regularly
Research has demonstrated that exercise can help a person live longer and healthier even if the goal is not to lose weight. Being physically active in short bursts throughout the day or setting aside time to exercise each week can be equally beneficial for seniors. Many sports, such as brisk walking or yoga, are free and inexpensive and do not necessitate the use of special equipment. Carrying our daily activities such as housekeeping, cooking and gardening, either independently or with the help of a caregiver, is another way seniors can maintain an active lifestyle.
2) Eating healthy
Diet can have a profound impact on seniors’ physical and mental health. Research has shown that even small changes to diet, e.g. adding more seafood or leafy greens, can result in significant positive health outcomes in the long run. Adopting a healthy diet, for example, the MIND diet based on Mediterranean recipes has also been proven to help reduce impacts of aging such as dementia and hypertension. A caregiver can play a key role in helping a senior incorporate healthier food choices in daily meals through encouragement, menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking.
3) Getting proper sleep
Quality of sleep can have a significant impact on the health of seniors. Seniors should be encouraged to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Late-day naps should be avoided because they may impact the night’s sleep. Seniors should also avoid exercising too close to their bedtime, as it can deteriorate the quality of sleep. There should be at least a one-hour gap between exercising and going to bed.
4) Keeping the doctors’ appointments
Seniors should maintain their regular visits to the doctor. Regular tests can reveal diseases and ailments such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease that the senior may not be aware of. Families and caregivers should ensure that the seniors stay on top of their medical visits and accompany them if possible to advocate on their behalf to the physicians.
Maintaining health in old age requires a focus on both physical and mental well-being through activities such as socialization, meditation, avoiding depression, exercising regularly, eating healthy, getting proper sleep and engaging regularly with the physicians. Small interventions from caregivers and families can help the seniors maintain the motivation and discipline required for healthy aging.
Want to Learn More?
ConsidraCare’s live-in caregivers are experienced professionals familiar with activities required to maintain mental and physical health. Our team of senior care experts can develop a detailed care plan including the daily tasks the caregiver needs to carry out to encourage the mental and physical health of your loved ones. Our platform tracks the activities carried out by the caregiver and keeps you informed in real-time.
Please reach out to us at email@example.com, or call us at 1-855-410-7971, and we will be happy to understand and help you with the care needs of a loved one.