2nd Article in a series by Sharon Wagner, Author of SeniorFriendly.info
All too often, we associate the aging process with loss – lost youth, vitality, vim, vigor, strength, and health. However, with more people living longer and learning the benefits of better health practices, it’s truly possible to find wellness as an older adult. With a handful of smart strategies, you can turn your golden years into the best years of your life.
Stay safe and sound
Safety is a basic requirement for independence, physical well-being, and peace of mind. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to remain safe, secure, happy and healthy, thanks to technological resources. Options abound for seniors, as there is everything from social media for remaining in touch with friends and family across the miles, mobile apps for your smartphone, and e-readers for your reading comfort and pleasure. It’s also easy to employ a medical alert system, which is particularly handy if you have mobility concerns.
Turn to a home service
If you’re planning to age at home, hiring a team of professional services to complete difficult projects can make it easier to stay independent. Certain chores you were able to do when you were younger, such as yard work, can now take a toll on your body. Luckily, services are available at various costs, so that you don’t have to break the bank to maintain upkeep around the house. For example, you can hire a maid service within a price range of $118-$212 in Omaha.
Gut health for general health
Your mother probably told you that you are what you eat, and in many ways, science is proving that idea to be true. Gut health impacts more than whether your stomach is upset or your digestion stays regular. It turns out there is a whole world down there called a “microbiome” made up of various microorganisms, and when those inhabitants are out of whack, other body systems can be too. For example, your gut health appears to go hand in hand with your mood, and when your microbiome isn’t balanced, you can become upset, anxious or depressed. Eating fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt, can help you balance your gut, or you can take a probiotic supplement to stay on track. It’s a simple measure which can boost your outlook, overall wellness and quality of life. If you opt for a supplement, just be sure to talk to your doctor to avoid incompatibility with any medications you’re currently taking.
Pick up a hobby
Hobbies are important at any age, but they can be especially important for keeping seniors vital. One especially fun and gratifying way for seniors to spend their time is by playing music, which fires up the parts of your brain responsible for memory and learning new concepts as well as keeps you socially engaged. Before picking up an instrument, think about what type of music inspires you. If jazz has always been your passion, for example, you could give the saxophone a try and invite a few friends over for a jam session to give your newfound (or reignited!) hobby a social boost. Gardening is also a great go-to for people of all ages and abilities, thanks to its bevy of mental and physical health benefits, and the bounty of nutritious produce it can yield.
Maintain your get-up-and-go routine
Staying physically active can be challenging in our senior years, but there is plenty of good news. The CDC points out seniors can gain considerable benefits from a minimal amount of activity, and if you haven’t been exercising, as little as five or 10 minutes daily can make a positive impact on your health and well-being. Exercising boosts energy levels, promotes a sharper mind, lifts your mood, improves heart health, and lowers your risk for diabetes. You can even work on strength, flexibility and balance from the comforts of home. Consider some simple chair exercises, or get a stability ball. If you’re comfortable getting out, start a walking regimen. If you are fit and active already, consider a martial arts program, do some resistance band training, or take a yoga class (classes usually cost between $12 and $16). Always check with your doctor before you jump into any new exercise program, especially if you have existing health concerns.
Ensure sufficient shuteye
Seniors frequently struggle with getting enough quality sleep. In fact, some research indicates nearly a quarter of seniors age 65 to 84 have four or more medical conditions, and those medical conditions can go hand in hand with sleep deprivation. Issues such as sleep apnea, GERD, and restless leg syndrome are just a few medical issues which can mean lost sleep. That leads to a domino effect on your health, potentially causing lost strength, reduced sensitivity to insulin, increased sensitivity to pain, weaker immunity, reduced ability to concentrate, poor mood, and higher risk for accidents. If you think you might suffer from a sleep-related disorder, you should discuss your situation with your physician. Also, take a look at your sleep hygiene. Avoid stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes, especially late in the day, set a schedule for going to bed and getting up, and ensure your bedroom is comfortable for sleeping. Keep it cool, dark, and quiet for best results.
Your golden years should be a time for you to thrive. Engage with senior-oriented technology, look after your physical health by enlisting help with housework, tend your digestive health, pick up a hobby, stay physically active, and get restorative sleep. You can enjoy a terrific quality of life throughout your senior years by embracing these simple but brilliant strategies.