Aging is not for the faint of heart! Every day it seems like there is something else to keep up with; just to make sure that the things we did yesterday can still be done tomorrow. Who would have thought that aging gracefully requires so much? The truth of it is, aging does require a little bit of effort to make sure our loved ones are living their best lives. As in-home care providers, Happy at Home has 9 healthy habits for your aging senior living at home.
According to the National Institue on Aging by 2050, there could be nearly one million senior citizens living to be 100 years old. Here are some tips to help extend the quality of life for an aging loved one.
1: Eat Healthy
Eating right should always be a priority, at any age. Nutritious foods are important! However, it becomes even more important as our bodies age and slows down. Individuals all have different dietary needs but making sure you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and get enough fiber and protein is important!
Always talk to a doctor about what your loved one can do to continue eating healthy.
Happy at Home caregivers love to help your loved one go grocery shopping, as well as help, make delicious meals so they can eat right even when you’re not around.
2: Drink lots…
Drink lots of water that is. What we eat is important but so is what we drink. Drinking enough water throughout the day is a struggle most people have but this struggle gets more real, the older we get.
Staying hydrated is important for staying awake and maintaining our energy levels throughout the day. Dehydration becomes a big issue as people age so it’s a good idea to set an alarm for yourself or a loved one to remember to drink water.
*big gulp of water as writing this for others*
It’s never too early to start drinking enough water. There are even water bottles out there to help you monitor your water and remind you to drink every hour.
3. Get proper sleep.
Have you ever slept at your folk’s house and noticed that they seem to go to bed super late and wake up super early; they say it’s because they’re old and need less sleep but for the most part, it’s just not true. Aging loved ones may not need as much sleep as a teenager, who does? they still need a proper nights sleep.
Helping your loved one sleep better is good for their health! If we don’t all get the sleep we need; our physical and mental health suffer.
Doing things like dimming the light, setting a timer for music to play, lowering screen time, limiting caffeine before bed, or having blackout curtains can all help your loved one sleep. Keeping them active in the day is a GREAT way to help make sure they’re tired and ready to rest up come night time.
Did you know that Happy at Home caregivers can spend the night taking care of your loved one? Sometimes it just means being there when they go to bed, other times it means having a night shift so they are there to help make your loved one feel safe and assist with any middle of the night issues. This helps to ensure they have a healthy bedtime routine, feel safe, and get the sleep that they need to live their best life.
4. Be proactive
As we get older, it’s more important than ever to be proactive about our health. When we are young we have the opportunity for quicker recoveries but the older we get, the harder that is. Being proactive and focusing on preventative care will help our loved ones stay in great shape AND be prepared for when something happens.
Early detection of health issues can change lives so being proactive with regularly scheduled doctors appointments and preventative care for our loved ones is a MUST!
Don’t let transportation or your busy schedule stop your loved one from getting the proactive care they need for doctor visits (or dentist visits), Happy at Home caregivers are all fully licensed and insured so that we can take your loved one where they need to go when they need to be there. We are happy to help with transportation.
5. Visit your dentist
Teeth and gums are just as important for your aging loved one’s health! Seeing a dentist regularly is just as necessary as seeing your doctor. Did you know that bad teeth/gum problems can lead to serious issues like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes?
It’s important to continue care for your teeth – no matter how much your aging loved one (or you) may hate the dentist!
*starts slowly flossing teeth as we write this blog*
6. Stay active.
Exercising and physical activity is good for the body but also good for the soul (and mind). It’s a great habit to get into as one gets older. It helps to reduce depression and keeps your loved one full of energy!
Exercising helps reduce so many different types of risks and also helps to keep our muscles strong.
Helping your loved one stay active physically can not only help with their mental state but also ensures that at the end of the day they get a good nights sleep! We all know how important sleep is to someone, especially our aging loved ones. Taking your favorite senior citizen on evening walks is a great way to keep them active AND ensure they get a good nights sleep.
Our Happy at Home caregivers love to get outside just as much as your loved one does! It’s one of the benefits of having a job that doesn’t require you to be at a computer all day long, let our caregivers help your loved one and take them for strolls through the park or whatever other activities might be at their speed.
7. Mentally stimulate the mind
Physical activity is important but so is mental activity! Keeping your aging loved ones brain sharp with activities like sudoku, crossword puzzles, memory games, cards, reading, and other activities can help their mind stay strong.
Staying mentally strong and stimulated is great to help maintain one’s mental health too. It allows their brain to continue to engage in creative thoughts, thinking and to stay sharp.
We go through different phases of life with different people who become a part of us. Aging doesn’t change that. It’s important that the senior citizen in your life continues to socialize and stay connected to a group of people outside of their family, and caregivers.
Encourage your loved one to stay involved (or get involved) with a book club, gardening club, community theater or whatever it is they are interested in. These are wonderful hobby oriented things that can help maintain friendships or create new ones.
Age is just a number and the party doesn’t need to stop just because your loved one might need a lift. Staying social and connected to the community is good all around.
9. Have a purpose
Whether it’s going to going to church, volunteering at a non-profit (local libraries often have seniors who read to kids), or even spending time with grandchildren; it’s important to have a purpose and to live purposefully. While these are important parts of being social; it’s important to make sure your loved one is doing things that still allow them to feel lie they have a purpose in life.
These are 9 healthy habits for a senior citizen still living at home! We know what it’s like, it’s our job to provide exceptional in-home care to clients; so we’ve learned a thing or two about healthy habits for the aging loved one in your life.
At Happy at Home, we understand how important these healthy habits are for your loved ones. We all need a little assistance from time to time to help accomplish our habits, especially as we age.
We can help cook healthy meals, encourage liquids, make sure your loved one has someone there when they go to sleep to help make them feel safe, take them to their doctor and dentist appointments and make sure they’re going, take them on walks and assist with senior-friendly exercises. Happy at Home provides companionship no matter what other services we’re providing and can play mentally stimulating games, do puzzles, and read to clients.
Happy at Home is an in-home care company providing exceptional in-home care services including help with grocery shopping, errands, bathing & dressing, transferring, pet care, light housekeeping, meal prep, transportation, and even companionship. We know how lonely it can get while you’re at work and your aging loved one still needs someone.
Our personalized care offers you peace of mind and gives your loved one the one-on-one care they deserve.
Happy at Home is located in Chico, Sacramento and in Ashland, Oregon. Please contact us today to let us know how we can be of service to you or your loved one.