2020 was a challenging year for most people across the world, especially seniors. From a pandemic to a tumultuous election, most of us are happy to turn our calendars over to 2021. The New Year is a great time to look to the future. We can visualize how we want the coming year to be better: healthier, more enriched, and dedicated to the people we love. Then, we can build healthy resolutions that help achieve those goals.
Around 50 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each at the start of each year. While about 80 percent ultimately give up before the end of February, this is often because people’s goals are not realistic. As we face a new year of uncertainty and hope, the key is to set attainable goals with measurable, positive results. Seniors can get 2021 off to the best start possible with these five simple resolutions.
Eat Delicious, Nourishing Food
Over half of all New Year’s Resolutions involve eating healthier—but if it was easy, we’d all be doing it already. Seniors can especially struggle to maintain a healthy diet. By the time we reach our later years, our number of taste buds has often reduced by half. Paired with age-related loss of smell, seniors may struggle to get the same enjoyment out of food as they did when they were younger.
There are many techniques seniors can use to include great-tasting and nutritious food into their diets. Rather than loading each dish with salt, implement more variety into cooking to overcome age-related loss of taste. Instead of just resolving to eat healthily, aim to add more enjoyment to your daily meals. Expand your menu options to include new recipes, experiment with different cooking methods, and find what works for you. If you’re struggling to develop healthy eating ideas, an in-home caregiver can help with menu-planning, trips to the grocery store, and cooking flavorful meals.
Get Outside, Get Health Benefits
Getting more exercise is another common goal. But you don’t need to break a sweat to reap the benefits of being outside. For seniors, just setting a plan to take a gentle to moderate walk each day can have several excellent health benefits — especially if you go for a walk in nature. Spending more time in green spaces can boost concentration, creativity, memory, and happiness. Rather than setting arduous and unpleasant exercise goals, start small and take a walk in a local park. Your brain and body will thank you.
Address Ongoing Medical Issues
With COVID-19 making routine medical visits more dangerous for seniors, many people have been putting them off. 2021 will be a great time to address ongoing health issues such as loss of vision, decreasing bone density, and chronic pain. These are all frequent complaints for older people, which can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life. Though 30 percent of seniors experience chronic pain, many do not get the treatment they need to assuage it. If you’re suffering from a chronic health concern, don’t delay getting it checked out. You’ll be ready to face all the new year brings without the burden of untreated medical issues holding you back.
Stay Safe Inside
Falls are always a significant danger for seniors, especially when stuck at home and isolated during the pandemic. Since we’ve all spent a lot of time in our houses this year and will likely have to hold out a while longer, there’s never been a better time to make sure your living space isn’t putting you at risk. With a person’s average muscle mass declining between three and eight percent per decade after 30, seniors are at an increased risk of falls the older they get.
Luckily there are plenty of ways for seniors to keep safe at home. Eliminate tasks that require a high degree of balance, such as standing on a stool to get to a tall cabinet. Do a sweep of your home for safety concerns like overloaded electrical outlets or tripping hazards. With a few common-sense precautions, you can go into the new year knowing you’re as safe as possible at home. And if your daily life requires difficult or risky tasks, you may want to consider getting the help of an in-home caregiver to take care of them for you.
Don’t Just Survive: Thrive
COVID-19 has extracted a grim toll on seniors this year. As older people face the most risk of suffering the worst symptoms of the disease, many seniors have spent the year buckling down and doing everything they can to avoid getting sick.
With a vaccine in the early stages of distribution, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. There are many ways seniors can work on living life to the fullest while waiting for the end of pandemic restrictions and plan for a brighter future. Start by addressing any concerns with low mood or depression—getting those checked out by a healthcare professional is important. From there, focus on the central tenants of happy living: good food and exercise, regular social contact, and keeping up with daily tasks. If you’re struggling to stay on top of things, an in-home caregiver can help. Don’t let life’s tiresome routines stand between yourself and living the best life you can in 2021.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.