Balanced Living Tips for Seniors
Living a balanced lifestyle is important regardless of age. You are never too young or too old to focus on the prevention of disease and illness, but as you get older, it may become more difficult to live the way you always have. Let’s learn some helpful tips to maintain a healthy senior lifestyle while taking advantage of unique services and technologies.
At every stage of life, exercise is an essential component to keep your body healthy. Regular exercise protects against heart disease, regulates blood pressure, improves mobility and increases balance. Muscle mass decreases as the body ages, so embarking on a strength training program is especially beneficial, as the body responds well to strength training at any age and it is never too late to start. Your local gym may have senior classes available, or you can use a training video in the comfort of your own home. Remember, before starting anything new, it’s important to discuss new exercise programs with your physician to prevent injury.
Nutritious, Balanced Meals Are a Must
In addition to regular exercise, a nutritious diet is also necessary for optimal health. As you grow older, your body often needs fewer calories making it more difficult to get all the proper nutrients. Having low prep meals available on hand - oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, yogurt and granola, pre-made salads and soups – will make it easier to eat wholesome foods. Many grocery stores now even offer a variety of healthy pre-made meals. Additionally, home delivery services are available if cooking is not an option, but this can be expensive, especially on a fixed income.
Review Your Medicare Coverage
Medicare is a great tool to offer financial coverage for medical expenses ranging from hospital stays to prescription medication, and you usually become eligible to receive benefits at age 65. There are some exceptions, so it is best to use Medicare’s calculator to determine when you are eligible. Understanding the available options for coverage and determining what is best for you can seem overwhelming. Thankfully there are many online resources available to help you assess your needs, or you can always ask a trusted loved one for assistance.
Consider Smart Tech
Often there comes a time where independent living becomes too difficult and help from a loved one or caretaker is needed. However, the ability to maintain independent living for a longer time is becoming easier with the development of new technologies. Smart home devices offer a range of helpful services that include motion-activated lights, mobile and voice-controlled thermostats, and keyless locks. Even medication dispensers can now utilize technology to remind you when to take which medication and notify a caretaker if a dose has been missed. Seniors and caregivers both can experience practical assistance and relief from worry by implementing smart home devices.
Glass Half Full
Lastly, there is one surprising change you can make to improve not only the quality of your life, but also potentially extend the longevity of it. Studies show that being optimistic leads to many advantageous health benefits. Having a positive outlook on life can increase heart health, improve blood pressure, and potentially add years to your lifespan. If optimism does not come to you easily or naturally, you can increase your happiness and outlook by engaging in a favorite hobby or socializing with friends and family. Isolation can lead to depression and inactivity, so take part in a new activity or volunteer within your community.
Happiness and health can be found in all circumstances and at all ages. It’s never too late to rediscover joy, and today is always a great day to begin taking care of your body!
Written by: Harry Cline, creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.