Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean your senior loved one will develop poor health or limited mobility. Aging well means he or she can enjoy the golden years without significant pain or loss of movement. Here are some secrets to healthy aging that your loved one should consider.
Consuming nutrient-dense foods may be one of the most important secrets to healthy aging. Encourage your loved one to eat foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, B vitamins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to play a significant role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke and may even decrease pain in those with degenerative joint diseases. Foods high in vitamin C may boost immune function, lowering the risk of viral and bacterial infections, some of which can be life-threatening for older adults.
If you’re a family caregiver who finds it challenging to have the time to plan and prepare healthy meals, consider hiring a professional caregiver for an hour or two a day or a few days a month. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Waterloo respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
Exercise promotes mobility and optimal range of motion, and it can also boost immune function so your loved one stays healthier. When exercising, “feel-good” chemicals known as endorphins and serotonin are released and keep the mood stable by staving off age-related depression and anxiety. In addition, regular exercise enhances lung function and optimal circulation so the internal organs remain healthy and properly perfused with oxygenated blood.
Even seniors with mobility issues or health challenges can still exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Avoid Social Isolation
Socializing with their peers gives seniors something to look forward to as well as a chance to get out of the house to enjoy different surroundings. Social isolation can lead to hopelessness, depression, and, in severe cases, cognitive deficits. Socializing also helps seniors stay more active, which can delay mobility limitations and diminished range of motion. If your loved one has lost most of his or her friends, has few family members who live close by, or seems sad, schedule social outings or suggest joining a senior citizen’s club.
Eliminate Poor Lifestyle Habits
If your loved one engages in poor lifestyle habits such as drinking too much alcohol, consuming an unhealthy diet, or smoking, encourage him or her to modify them. While your loved one may be unable to quit these habits “cold turkey,” encourage him or her to drink only in moderation, limit the consumption of junk food to rare occasions, and cut down on cigarette smoking. If your loved one is unable to modify these habits independently, make an appointment with his or her physician to refer your loved one to a nutritionist for dietary counseling and recommend an addiction specialist if your loved one needs help to quit drinking or smoking. Once these habits have been modified, your parent may feel better and be on the way to healthier aging.
A trained professional caregiver can be an ideal resource when you’re trying to help your loved one age in the healthiest possible way. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Waterloo families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (519) 954-2111 today.