Guest Blogger: Karen Weeks
There are habits that serve us well in our youth that no longer do the trick as we get older. For example, many younger people are able to tough it out when faced with a cold or stomach bug. A senior who tries to do the same can face serious health risks.
Learning how to modify your behavior as you get older isn’t giving in to the aging process. It’s a way to honor your body and its limits so that you can live the healthiest, happiest life possible. Here are a few ways seniors can improve their lives.
Focus on Nutrition
Nutritional needs change as we get older (1), so it’s important to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. If you’ve been eating the same foods for a long time, it’s possible you’re missing out on important nutrients. Look into new, healthy recipes (2) you can use to add some extra variety into your diet.
You may need to give your nutritional goals a boost with a daily multivitamin or energy boosting supplement (3). These are sources of bonus nutrition that can fill in any gaps you’re missing in your diet. If you’re particularly worried about nutritional deficiencies, ask your doctor to check your blood levels. If there are any serious gaps, they’ll be able to guide you toward good sources to get you back on track.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Exercise is important at any age, but it has extra benefits for seniors (4). Regular workouts keep your heart healthy, improve your mood, and give you a better sense of balance. Heart disease, depression, and slip-and-fall accidents are among some of the most serious risks facing the elderly. Reduce those dangers by building exercise (5) into your daily routine.
Shoot for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. If that’s too much to start, you can split it into two 15-minute or even three 10-minute workouts. Once you’re in the swing of things, continue to find ways of challenging yourself. For example, if you go on walks, consider using (6) ankle or wrist weights to gently increase the intensity.
Seek Out Healthcare
You can’t thrive if you’re sick, so when something is wrong, visit your doctor so you can speed up your recovery. Many people spend most of their lives powering through illnesses, but this gets riskier with age. Older immune systems sometimes need extra help to kick everyday bugs.
One particular form of care you should focus on is chiropractic care (7). Falls can be life threatening for seniors, while persistent back and joint pain can result in reduced mobility. Getting regular chiropractic treatments can be a safe method of strengthening your body and can help you maintain good overall health. Go online to find a trusted chiropractor in your area.
If you have more complicated medical needs, make sure you’re on the best healthcare plan for your situation. Medicare, for example, has additional coverage beyond the traditional hospital and outpatient coverage included in Part A & B (8). You can go through private insurance to get access to different providers or wellness plans, and prescription coverage can help mitigate the costs of any medications you need to take. Explore your options and make sure you’re on the plan that’s right for you.
Get the Help You Need
As we get older, certain tasks get more difficult. For some people, it makes sense to hire some form of in-home care, whether that’s a regular housekeeper or a nurse who comes by a few times a week. These caregivers can supplement the tasks you’re unable to do on your own, making your life easier and safer.
Unless you can afford full-time in-home care, however, there are some situations where an at-home nurse simply won’t cut it. If you’re having serious difficulties taking care of yourself at home, consider moving into an assisted living facility. These are deliberate communities where medical care is always at hand, meaning you’ll have the help you need whenever you need it.
Costs will vary depending on the scope of care needed and the amenities any given facility features. You should also keep in mind that choosing an assisted living facility close to a good hospital (9) – for example, Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Los Angeles – can be helpful if you suffer from a chronic illness or need therapy long term.
Requiring different care as you get older is nothing to be ashamed of – embracing your needs means you’re giving yourself the best life. Focus on healthy ways to adjust and live your golden years healthy and happy.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
READING REFERENCE LIST:
- as we get older – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutritional-needs-and-aging
- healthy recipes – https://www.care.com/c/stories/5445/quick-easy-healthy-meals-for-seniors/
- energy-boosting supplement.- https://scottjeffrey.com/best-energy-supplements/
- exercise, extra benefits for seniors – https://wellness.nifs.org/blog/top-10-reasons-exercise-is-important-for-senior-health
- exercise routine – https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/best-exercise-older-adults/
- ankle or wrist weights – https://www.bestwomensworkoutreviews.com/wrist-ankle-weights-benefits-possible-risks
- chiropractic care – https://100percentchiropractic.com/chiropractic-care-for-the-elderly/
- Parts A and B – https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/medicare/resources/medicare-part-a-and-part-b-whats-the-difference
- good hospital – https://www.aplaceformom.com/assisted-living/california/los-angeles
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Weeks is a senior lifestyle blogger who believes nothing is off limits to seniors. After retirement, she struggled to find a new sense of purpose which lead her to learn a new skill, she took a computer course. She created Elderwellness.net – a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies and spirits well.