happy senior lady and caregiver cooking

Have your New Year’s resolutions already been dropped? If that’s the case, don’t panic; you are in good company. Many of us are excited about an important change in lifestyle when we roll over into the new year, but life quickly hurries in and distracts us from maintaining our determination to succeed.

Yet it is never too late to begin again, and it is especially beneficial for older loved ones to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are a few key ways to achieve healthy living in 2023; choose one to begin, or jump right into all the following ideas to boost health and wellbeing for older adults.

What Can Seniors Do to Enhance Overall Health This Year?

A balanced approach to healthy living includes:

Physical Exercise

Exercising is among the best things you can do in order to maximize wellness, not just physically, but holistically. Exercise is proven to increase balance, strength, and flexibility – key factors in protecting against falls – while also minimizing anxiety and depression, preventing or improving chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and keeping weight in balance.

Physical activity does not even have to be a structured exercise regime. Everyday tasks such as house cleaning, walking, and playing with the grandchildren all count! Talk to the physician for recommendations and approval before starting or changing any exercise routine. As a general guideline, the goal is to shoot for a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic exercise, along with muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises.

A Balanced Diet

Now that the culinary temptations of the holidays are behind us, it’s a good time to pick up some better dietary habits! Older adults need fewer calories, but just as many nutrients as younger adults. This can be achieved by choosing nutrient-rich foods “from the rainbow,” incorporating vegetables and fruits of various colors, along with whole grain foods, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, and eggs, beans, peas, and legumes. Avoid foods that contain added salt, sugar, and trans fats – common ingredients in prepackaged foods.

Thinking ahead is a great way for you to make sure that healthy food choices are just as convenient to grab as their unhealthy counterparts. Try these tips:

  • Make favorite meals (such as homemade chili or soup) in bigger quantities and then freeze individual portions.
  • Keep small servings of fruit (without added sugar) on hand, along with low-prep veggies, like baby carrots and pre-washed salad mixes.
  • Partner with a home care agency, like Hearts at Home In-Home Care, a provider of senior home care solutions, for a caregiver to be sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy choices and to prepare nutritious meals.

Mental Health

It is also necessary for older adults to stay mentally healthy. The weeks following the holidays are particularly difficult emotionally for many individuals. Help those you love to ease loneliness, isolation, and sadness by encouraging them to:

  • Get enough sleep: seven to eight hours per night is most beneficial.
  • Seek out opportunities for socialization: volunteer, schedule weekly lunch dates with a good friend, register for a class, etc.
  • Take time out daily for enjoyable and uplifting activities.
  • Talk with a therapist for help with difficult emotions and attaining a brighter outlook on life.

Recognize that depression is treatable, and it’s very important that a senior who is exhibiting signs of depression to see the doctor as soon as possible for help.

Let Hearts at Home In-Home Care, a provider of senior home care solutions in Kansas City and the surrounding areas, help someone you love to live a healthy life in 2023! Call us at 913-440-4209 for more information on our top-rated home care services for seniors.