Remember those New Year’s resolutions we once tried to achieve such as losing 50 pounds, landing the perfect job or meeting Mr./Ms. Right? Yep, they proved mostly impossible, didn’t they?
But these days, we aren’t so bent on exterior goals. Many of us, including the staff at Andelcare, are much more interested in the “inside” job of good health and, as a result, increased happiness. That’s why our list of resolutions for older adults looks a lot like the basic goals many of us ascribe to every day – eating healthy, getting a good night’s sleep and spending time with loved ones.
Recommendations for Top 10 Resolutions
Lest we forget what these goals look like, the American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation recommends top 10 healthy New Year’s resolutions for seniors to help us achieve and stay healthy. Here we summarize five:
- Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy and healthy fats
We don’t use as many calories as we once did, so we need to make eating healthy a priority. Checkout the USDA’s Choose My Plate program to help make good choices. For example, eat lots of brightly-colored veggies (carrots, broccoli, cantaloupe), high-fiber bread, low-fat meats and less dairy.
- Be Active
Mild to moderate physical activity can be safe, healthy and even help improve chronic conditions for older adults. Try gentle exercise such as walking, tai chi or water aerobics. See if your insurance covers the SilverSneakers program. Enhance Fitness is another senior-focused exercise program.
- Guard against falls
AARP offers a super list of falls prevention tips because one in every three older adults falls each year — and falls are a leading cause of injuries and death among older adults. Exercises such as walking or working out with an elastic band can increase your strength, balance, and flexibility can help us avoid falls. We also need our docs to evaluate our meds to make sure they don’t make us dizzy. In addition, let’s eliminate booby traps such as throw rugs and install grab bars in the bathroom or shower as well as night lights and brighter lights.
- See your provider regularly
We need to use our annual Medicare wellness visit with our healthcare providers to discuss health screenings and any changes in your advance directives. This is the time to review medications and get new or booster shots. Of course, this is the perfect time to discuss our mental and physical health concerns with our providers.
- Give your brain a workout
Tons of brain health research shows that the more we use our minds, the better they will work. Read. Do crossword puzzles. Try Sudoku. Socializing also gives your brain a boost, so join a bridge club or a discussion group at your local library or senior center. Or take a course at your local community college — some offer free classes for adults 65 and older.
LET’S ALL TOAST TO GOOD HEALTH IN THE NEW YEAR!