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Seniors Can Thrive During Healthy Aging Month and Beyond | Generations Home Care
a senior couple enjoying healthy aging month

Twenty years ago, Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging Magazine, designated September as Healthy Aging Month . The purpose of Healthy Aging Month is to focus attention on the positive aspects of aging. Healthy Aging aims to encourage everybody over the age of 45 to let go of the negative expectations of aging and embrace a positive outlook towards growing older. The hope is to increase the quality of living and also increase the chance for a longer life.

Healthy aging requires a balance of physical, mental, social, and financial well-being. This is to say that taking a proactive role in healthy aging is more than simply going to the doctor. Healthy aging centers on the belief that a positive outlook and an adventurous state of mind will impact day-to-day living for older Americans. A Stanford study shows that people over the age of 65 live up to six times longer than their grandparents. That’s why there has never been a better time to rejuvenate the concept of what aging means.

The Path to Healthy Aging

Exercise 

Regular exercise has long been known to have a positive impact on the body’s natural aging process. Incorporating any kind of physical activity into a daily routine is more important than the exercise intensity. Walking and hiking are popular options for most aging people as it involves getting the body moving and fresh air. 

Many community and senior centers offer yoga and tai chi classes. The strength and balance skills achieved through yoga and tai chi are extremely beneficial for aging people and provide added confidence for daily activities. Other options for daily exercise are gardening, dancing, swimming, tennis, and bike riding. 

It’s never too late to increase physical activity. Start with a comfortable level and increase over time. The impact of regular exercise and reduced sedentary behavior decreases the likelihood of falls and helps prolong independence.

Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet reduces the risk of disease and provides much-needed nutrients for the body as it ages. A good rule of thumb is to include five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This balanced with lean meat, fish, legumes, and whole grains provides excellent nutrition. 

The body uses fewer calories as it ages and metabolism slows down. This change means older people can reduce their portion sizes, which will help maintain a healthy body weight. Eating a healthy diet protects against disease and boosts the body with good energy.

Social Life

Aging people who regularly engage in social activities live happier and fuller lives. Social activity can be anything from lunch with a friend to volunteering with a local organization. The important thing is to make sure these meaningful interactions take place regularly. 

Many older people become sedentary as they age and miss out on the wealth of connecting with other people. The founding concept of Healthy Aging is to push past the unhealthy stereotypes of aging and embrace life. Studies show that people participating in social activities such as belonging to social groups, traveling, enjoying local events, and taking classes actually live longer than those who are less socially engaged.

Keep the Mind Active

Keeping an active mind is the equivalent of exercise for a healthy body. Giving the brain a mental workout by learning new skills and staying curious helps the brain generate new neurons. Many people find a lot of satisfaction by picking up a hobby, working a puzzle, learning a new language, or playing an instrument. Incorporating any of these activities will help sharpen the brain and reduce some of the negative effects of aging, like memory decline and stress.

According to a study published in the journal Neurology, reading and writing reduce memory decline by 21%. Joining a book club or reading the paper every day are good ways to make reading a part of a daily routine. Any style of writing boosts brain activity and increases communication skills. It can be a journal entry, a letter to a friend, or maybe even finally working on that novel. As long as the process is enjoyable, that’s all that matters.

Doctor Visits

Regular visits with a doctor, whether a physician, eye doctor, or specialist, are crucial in preventive care. Regular check-ins with a doctor will increase the chance of catching any health issues at the beginning stages when treatment is most effective. Checking in with doctors on a regular basis also reduces stress concerning undiagnosed symptoms. A healthy relationship with your body allows for more time and energy to spend doing activities that help redefine what aging means.

The Impact Caregivers Have On Positive Aging

For some individuals, Healthy Aging may require the assistance of a caregiver. For those with mental or physical health issues, an in-home caregiver’s additional help and companionship are critical.

How Can Caregivers Help?

  • Ensure seniors eat a healthy diet. Caregivers can shop and cook when the person they are caring for is unable to. Caregivers also ensure that regular meals and healthy snacks are a part of the daily routine.
  • A caregiver can offer support and encouragement for daily exercise.
  • Caregivers not only provide social interaction just by showing up and being present, but they also help those in their care get to social events outside the home when transportation is an issue.
  • In-home caregivers help provide a safe and healthy living space so that seniors can enjoy Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) without the added stress of navigating potential home hazards.

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 more 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.


About the author - Josh Friesen

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