National Health Education week will be officially celebrated third week of October, and we are jumping at the opportunity to contribute! Our expertise lies in the area of senior home care, so, it is only fitting that we will focus on helping you be knowledgeable in the area of healthy aging.
So, what can you do OR what can you do for your senior family member or friend to make aging as healthy as possible? In addition to your physician’s recommendations* related to your specific situation ask yourself “Am I being mindful of these 5 things?”:
- Keep mentally and physically active: Remember the old saying “use it or lose it”! Simple things like regular reading, doing puzzles or playing games help keep the mind working. Likewise, regular physical activity to increase flexibility, strength and stamina are an invaluable bonus – it’s proven to help you live a longer and better quality life.
- Eat healthy foods: A strong connection between a healthy diet and a healthy body has been established long ago. While every person has their own dietary needs, there are some established heroes like vegetables and omega-3 fats that among other benefits help you keep your heart healthy and reduce inflammation. So, keep a list of your favorite dishes that include lots of veggies, fish and olive oil handy and use it often.
- Establish a healthy sleep pattern: Sleep has more health benefits than most people realize. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems. Make sure you go to bed at the same time to help your body switch to a rest mode easier. Take a walk after dinner and avoid watching TV if you want to fall asleep faster.
- Reduce Stress: It is estimated that more than 90% of illness is either caused or complicated by stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection. So, make sure you listen to your body and slow down if needed, take a minute or two to breathe deeply, find time in your day to meditate.
- Interact with others! Studies consistently show that individuals with the highest level of involvement in social relationships are more likely to live longer. But what if you find yourself in a socially limited situation? This is an area where North Oakland Caregivers has been helping seniors in their home OR residing in nursing homes via companionship. Our caregivers provide support by visiting, taking you to a movie or just staying in and having a friendly conversation.
These are just a few of the many things that may only take a SHORT part of the day, but may enhance your chances for a LONG healthy aging future. Why not start incorporating them into your routine?
* Always check with your physician before changing anything in your diet or activities of daily living or lifestyle.