October 1st is a day to recognize those who have gone before us, experienced things we may never get a chance to and to honor those who have sacrificed many things including their lives for us. Today’s older population is living longer and healthier and what a great thing to celebrate!
To give yourself or someone in your care the best possible chance of living a long & healthy life follow these guidelines:
- Quit smoking (it goes without saying that smoking shortens lives and can cause illness)
- Eat as healthy as possible – eliminate processed foods, sugars and fast food meals.
It is very important for seniors to eat healthy and to maintain energy levels. Good nutrition can be a challenge as changes can occur in sense of taste and smell, affecting appetite. If you have difficulty shopping for or preparing nutritious meals, there are services available to provide healthy meals to seniors.
- Keep active both mentally & physically (having a healthy mind & body is key to good health)
To keep your brain sharp:
- Drink 1 litre of water daily (keeps organs and the brain hydrated)
- Challenge your mind with puzzles, reading and learning something new regularly. Seniors are becoming more tech savvy than ever before!
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule
- Take fish oil to keep your brain healthy and to maintain heart health
While some degree of memory loss is normal with age, significant memory loss or cognitive decline is not an inevitable part of normal aging. Memory problems can be caused by dehydration, malnutrition or sleep deprivation.
Exercise is an important part of good health at any age, however, it is especially important for seniors. Physical activity can boost vitality, help maintain strength and flexibility, improve mental function and reduce health risks and possibly help with chronic pain. Choose an activity you enjoy and start off slow. Simple activities like walking, gardening, tai chi, swimming or yoga for seniors are all excellent choices and easy for most people to do.
- Maintain a healthy weight (helps to prevent diabetes and heart disease)
- Practice good hygiene to avoid dental problems and disease
- Prevent falls (broken bones or fractures can be difficult for seniors to recover from)
- Get regular health check ups – physical, dental and eye to prevent problems from developing
- Don’t spend money recklessly but enjoy your life with the money you have worked hard for. Enlist someone you trust to help you with finances if you must. Seniors are a target for fraud.
- Maintain a positive outlook (having a good mental state of mind is useful in coping with depression from loss and loneliness)
- Become a member at your local senior center. Try to spend time with at least one person each day, be it a friend or family member. Being social is good for the mind & spirit.
- Volunteer in your community (choose something that brings you joy), attend an event, join a club or take up a new hobby. (not only will this give you sense of purpose, it will challenge the brain and introduce you to new people)
- Use the good china! Seniors are classic for saving things for “good” or a “special occasion”. Today is a special occasion – don’t wait for tomorrow.
Finally…..celebrate YOU! Be good to yourself, you have experienced many things over your lifetime that have shaped who you are, you have earned the right to enjoy your life! Do what makes YOU happy, we only get one chance at this thing called life, make every day count!