Isn’t it great to turn to the first page of a brand new book you’ve been looking forward to reading? There’s a feeling of joy at the onset of a story, and with the beginning of the new year, that same degree of hopeful excitement settles upon us. Even better, we have some level of control over how the story will play out, as we resolve to make changes to improve our health and wellbeing, our relationships with others, and the direction our lives will take.
For older individuals, making resolutions is a wonderful way to inspire a sense of achievement, meaning and purpose in life. A wonderful bonding experience for family members is to sit down together and write down a list of each person’s hopes for the new year, and how to set about achieving those. Some recommendations to kickstart the conversation, particularly for seniors, include:
- Try for 5. The USDA suggests we consume five portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Top choices include those that are dark green or brightly colored, like collard greens, kale, spinach, bell peppers, carrots and melons.
- Get Going! All of us can reap benefits from some extra physical activity. Always first check in with the doctor to receive his or her recommendation on an exercise strategy, and then put a plan in place to implement. Great exercises for many older individuals include walking, swimming or water aerobics, or tai chi. Partnering with a family member, or a professional in-home caregiver from a trusted senior care company, can provide the motivation and encouragement to stick with it.
- Make an Appointment – or Several. Pull out the calendar, pick up the phone, and schedule all those tests and screenings you’ve been putting off: hearing and vision checks, cancer screenings, osteoporosis tests, etc.
- Give Your Brain a Boost. Determine that this will be the year to learn something totally new or to try something you’ve never taken the time to try. For older adults, there are a number of senior-specific programs at community colleges that offer the added benefit of enhancing socialization. Other good choices include online language courses, memory games and puzzles, or educational programs at the local library.
- Kick a Bad Habit. Whether it’s quitting smoking, curbing alcohol consumption, or a different unhealthy habit, the new year is the perfect chance to determine to overcome it. Setting small goals and celebrating along the way is a great way to ensure success.
At Hearts at Home, we’re on hand to help seniors set and reach new goals this year with our skilled Johnson County home health care services. Just several of the benefits of our home care services and ways we can make a difference include:
- Offer safe, accompanied transportation for seniors to medical appointments, exercise programs, classes, social events, and more
- Prepare healthy, delicious meals that adhere any prescribed dietary plans
- Run errands such as shopping for groceries to keep the refrigerator and pantry well stocked
- Provide medication reminders to make sure prescriptions are taken exactly as recommended
- And much more