Taking measures to stay healthy is important at every age, but with the life changes and physical changes that come with aging, it’s even more important for seniors. At times, coping with all the changes that come with aging, from losing loved ones to developing health conditions, can prove challenging. If you want to live longer, thrive in your senior years and make the most of your retirement, it’s important to take steps that take care of your physical and mental health. Here’s a look at some of the most helpful tips seniors can use to improve health and happiness in the golden years.
Basic Health Tips
- Take Advantage of Preventative Care – Make sure you keep up with preventative care visits and have health screenings for high cholesterol, colon cancer, heart issues, and more. It’s also important to get vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia to prevent illness.
- Routine Dental Checkups – See your dentist every six months, since your risk for cavities and other oral problems goes up with age.
- Eat a Healthy Diet – As you age, your digestive system slows own. It’s important to get plenty of fiber from whole grains, veggies, and fruits. You may also be more prone to dehydration, so make sure you’re getting plenty of water.
Tips for Better Sleep
- Limit Naps – Keep daytime naps to 30 minutes or less so you can sleep better at night.
- Improve Comfort – Make sure you’re comfortable at night with a good mattress and a good pillow. Using a pillow between the knees or under the back can reduce pain and support your joints.
- Keep it Dark – Make sure your sleeping area is dark enough so you can go to sleep and stay asleep.
- Bedtime Rituals – Come up with your own soothing bedtime rituals like enjoying a cup of tea or taking a warm bath to make it easier to wind down before bedtime.
Fall Prevention Tips
- Talk to Your Doctor – If you’re having problems with balance or feeling dizzy or disoriented, talk to your doctor. These symptoms increase your risk of a fall, and in many cases, it could be a solution to the problem.
- Add Plenty of Lights – Make sure you have lights outdoors and throughout your home to prevent trips and falls at night.
- Make Some Modifications – Making a few modifications, such as adding grab bars, non-slip mats, and handrails can reduce the risk of falls. It’s also essential to make sure stairs and walkways are clear of clutter.
Tips for Reducing Stress
- Don’t Bury Feelings – Burying your feelings only makes stress worse. Acknowledge your feelings and express them. Come up with healthy ways to deal with feelings, such as writing them down in a journal or talking to a friend.
- Focus on Gratitude – Take time to focus on things you’re grateful for. It reduces stress and helps you appreciate and enjoy the things you have.
- Do Things You Love – Engage in activities you love to lower stress levels. Enjoy trying a new hobby, spend time outdoors in nature, play with a pet, or try learning something new like a foreign language.
- Try Meditation – Meditating daily, even if it’s only for a few minutes, can be a great way to lower stress levels and improve overall health.
Tips for Staying Social
- Connect with Loved Ones – Take the time to get together with your loved ones, and even if you don’t live nearby, make phone calls and keep up with emails to preserve relationships.
- Make New Friends – Even if you’ve lost loved ones, it’s important to make new friends to add to your circle.
- Volunteering – If possible, head out into your community to volunteer. Giving back is a great way to meet new people and build social bonds.
- Try Support Groups – If you’re coping with times of change, consider finding a support group so you can bond with others going through similar challenges.
Essential Exercise Tips
- Talk to Your Doctor – Before starting any exercise program, you should always talk to your doctor.
- Combine Balance, Cardio, Strength, and Flexibility – A good exercise plan for seniors needs to combine balance, cardio, strength, and flexibility.
- Warm Up and Cool Down – Before exercising, make sure you take the time to warm up and cool down to prevent injury and pain.
- Pay Attention to Your Body – If you start feeling lousy or you’re hurting, stop exercising. Anytime you feel short of breath, dizzy, or have chest pain, call your doctor right away or call 911.
- Get Started Slow – If you’re just starting an exercise routine, start out slow and increase intensity and time slowly to prevent injuries.
Home Safety Tips
- Check Smoke Detectors – It’s important to ensure smoke detectors in the home are working and up to code. It’s especially important to have one located in the kitchen, since fires can easily occur there.
- Emergency Numbers – Have a list of emergency numbers in a visible and accessible place in your home.
- Eliminate Sharp Furniture – Replace items of furniture that have sharp edges with items that have rounded edges to prevent injury.
- Invest in a Medical Alert System – Even if you focus on preventing accidents and falls, they still can happen. Find the best medical alert systemto make sure you can get the help you need if an accident does occur in your home.
When you focus on staying healthy, you’ll be able to stay more active and do more, which is essential to your overall well-being. Focus on a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a safe, accessible home to make sure you enjoy your senior years.