Aging is inevitable, and with it comes a set of burdens. These include everything from deteriorating health to disordered lifestyles and everything in between. The health and well-being of senior citizens are crucial to society, as they make up 16.9% of the population of the United States.
Here are eight health and self-care tips that aging adults can incorporate into their daily routines for a peaceful and rewarding life.
Focus On Your Diet
A healthy diet benefits all, irrespective of age. However, aging adults can gain the most benefits from a cleaner and greener diet. The digestive system slows down with old age, which may lead to a poor appetite. This results in poor dietary intake.
To counter this problem, aging adults must make it a habit to consume three full meals each day. These meals should include ingredients from all five food groups: protein which aids in muscle growth, fiber which is essential for digestion, and vitamins and minerals for an effective immune system.
Moreover, they can use their mealtime to practice mindful eating. This practice enhances the experience of consuming food. Moreover, it helps individuals make better dietary choices, such as shifting towards organic foods that help tackle health issues.
Pay Attention to Your Health
With age comes many physical and mental health issues that adults must be on the lookout for. However, aging adults are less likely to get timely diagnoses due to their neglectful attitudes toward their health. Such an attitude makes their chances of recovery lower. A timely diagnosis is essential for aging adults to rectify their health issues.
Adults should get checkups, screenings, and vaccinations every once in a while for optimal physical health. This is particularly important for veterans, construction site workers, or anyone exposed to harmful substances like asbestos.
Regular health screenings can detect diseases such as mesothelioma, resulting in prompt treatment and increased life expectancy.
For optimal mental health, adults must monitor their moods, thoughts, and behavioral patterns. This will assist them in identifying the symptoms of any mental health disorder. If a mental health concern is found, adults should see a therapist or psychiatrist or sign up for a mental health treatment program to receive the necessary treatment.
As an aging adult, the worst thing you could do for yourself is significantly reduce physical activity. Many adults begin to give up on physical activity and exercise as the years go by. As a result, it harms their health by increasing their susceptibility to noncommunicable diseases, quality of life, and mental well-being. Hence, the best use of their time and energy is participating in exercise and physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a moderate-intensity exercise of at least 150 minutes every week. It includes activities such as walking or cycling. Additionally, if an adult’s health allows, 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity, such as hiking, jogging, or running, is highly recommended
However, practices such as yoga and tai chi are great alternatives for adults who do not particularly enjoy exercise. They involve physical movement, breath work, and meditation simultaneously, making them a form of physical activity that caters to one’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs. This way, adults can choose whichever form of physical activity suits them best to get their CDC-recommended mandatory exercise each week.
Keep A Check on Sensory and Cognitive Health
The sensory and cognitive health of an adult deteriorates over time. Your innate ability to think fast and on the spot may get slower, and your sight and hearing senses may weaken or become hypersensitive. You can get diagnostic tests for sensory or cognitive health issues in your fifties.
Thankfully, modern technology allows aging adults to use equipment, such as hearing aids and prescription glasses, to help keep their ability to experience their senses. Where cognitive health is the issue, aging adults can engage in various mentally-stimulating games and other activities to keep their minds sharp.
Make Rest a Priority
While you have sweet dreams in a deep sleep state, your body is hard at work repairing cells, restoring energy, and releasing molecules like hormones and proteins. Your brain also stores new information and makes nerve cells communicate to organize your thoughts and support healthy brain function. These processes occur during sleep and are critical to your greater well-being.
Hence, all aging adults must get their recommended 7-8 hours of sleep. If you struggle to fall asleep, do the following:
Keep Your Surroundings Safe
Health and safety hazards are not just found in public places. They can exist within the comfort of your own home. Sharp objects, rugs, or unwanted furniture that you may easily bump into may not seem like the most significant hazards.
But just one fall or injury due to these objects can be fatal for an aging adult. Therefore, keeping such objects away allows aging adults not to take any risks with their well-being. Seniors can install adaptive equipment, a stair lift to avoid using stairs manually, or monitoring devices to make their lives easier.
Be an Active Community Member
Community members should always continue providing their time, attention, and insight to their communities. The same applies to aging adults who are community members. Giving back to their community and participating in a healthy dialogue with fellow members, friends, and acquaintances should be encouraged.
Not only does this keep them productive, but also in better physical and mental health. Many engaging and informative events, seminars, and activities are organized in communities for adults.
Make Use of Organization Tips
All areas of an aging adult’s life need organizing, whether keeping up with medication and doctor visits or performing petty tasks like calling someone back. By adopting organization tips like to-do lists and setting up reminders, aging adults can stay on top of their daily tasks.
Despite being just a number, each age brings about certain challenges. Frequently, the challenges of old age can be incredibly taxing on aging adults. Nonetheless, the wisdom and profound outlook on life that aging brings have their charm. For aging adults, a positive approach and adherence to the tips mentioned above can make their lives much simpler and more blissful!