You want to be sure that the senior person in your life is happy and healthy. Senior wellness can be different from wellness at other stages of life, focusing not only on the physical but also the mental wellbeing. Here are three ways to encourage senior wellness.
Notice we didn’t say “exercise.” Sometimes, that can sound like a bad word, and motivation can be low. “Physical activity” has a gentler connotation—maybe instead of a vigorous, exhausting workout, you can suggest a swim, a walk in the park (or the mall), a senior fitness class, or even simple stretching exercises.
Being physically fit and active has positive benefits in that it encourages better balance, endurance, and flexibility, which may help avoid accidents such as falling. It also reduces the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and breast cancer. If your senior resists the idea of exercise, remind them that no one is too old to exercise, and all it costs is the price of comfortable walking shoes.
When we create something, whether it’s a work of art or a beautiful tune, it lights up our brains and improves our memory, cognition, and self-esteem. For some seniors, aging can lead to depression, stress, anxiety, and apathy, but creative arts can help reduce these effects. Some ideas could include joining a community choir or trying a hand at watercolors or clay with friends at an art class. These also have the added benefits of creating connections and a sense of community, further fighting negative psychological effects. This is an excellent way to bring mindfulness and better mental health to the senior in your life.
As we age, our sleeping patterns tend to change. That isn’t to say that we need less sleep—as it turns out, adults need about the same amount of sleep whether they’re 50 or 100. It just can be more difficult to fall asleep and to stay asleep as an older adult. Many seniors report feeling more tired during the daytime, so it’s easy to fall into the habit of taking naps throughout the day. If your loved one feels the need for a nap, just make sure they don’t sleep too long and that the nap doesn’t take place too late in the day.
Another thing that can help is to cut back on caffeine intake, especially after noon. Caffeine has a half-life of three to five hours. A half-life is the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the caffeine. This means that it will take longer than five hours for all of it to be eradicated. And don’t be fooled—coffee is most everyone’s favorite caffeine-laden drink, but it can also be found in black and green teas.
BridgeWater Assisted Living is dedicated to the health and wellness of our residents. For more information on how the senior in your life can spend their retirement in a worry-free environment, contact us today. We love answering questions and giving tours!