Senior Health 11 Resolutions For A Healthier 2011
Since we are approaching 2011, what better way to start the New Year than by making 11 resolutions that are age-appropriate for seniors and beneficial for you? Consider these suggestions, set goals and stay the course. You will be a healthier, happier senior by the end of the year.1. Eat regular nutritious meals. Many seniors who live alone fail to eat properly. Plan to eat at least one nourishing meal a day – and supplement that with nutritional drinks like Boost or Ensure. Remember, tea and toast does not constitute a meal. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and enough protein in your diet from dairy products and meats.2. Socialize with others. Invite a neighbor or friend to eat with you or to watch a special TV show together. Ask a family member to take you to a movie or to church. Attend a ballgame, visit a senior center or adult day care and participate in the activities. The increased social stimulation is good for your mental and emotional health.3. Ask for help. If you live alone and do not have a caregiver or family member that you see regularly, ask someone you know to help you with your shopping, housecleaning and laundry. Ask a neighbor to take you to your appointments or assist you with your errands. Contact an agency that provides companion or home care and secure their services for a few hours each week.4. Clean house. Many older people become pack rats as they age. Save your family the hassle and heartache of cleaning your residence by identifying items you no longer want, need or will never use again. Give them away to family, friends or a charity now rather than later, and see the joy that comes from sharing your treasures.5. Get your affairs in order. Put important documents and information such as insurance cards, social security number, mortgage/deed/lease, investments, savings accounts, auto registration, last will, and Medicare/Medicaid forms together in a safe place. Make a list of your personal belongings and let someone know where to find it. If you put your documents in a lock box, make sure you give a family member or a trusted friend a duplicate key.6. Exercise regularly. No matter your age, exercise helps you feel better, maintain muscle tone, and improve balance. Now is the time to start a daily exercise routine. Walk with a friend, attend an exercise class or do some gardening. Purchase a treadmill or buy an exercise video that you can use at home. New electronic game systems such as Wii Fit provide virtual sports that you can play alone or with a friend indoors. No excuses just do it!7. Surf the Internet. Even if you do not have a computer, you should learn how to use the Internet. In addition to staying in touch with your family and friends through email, you can access a whole new world of information simply by searching topics of interests.8. Press for help. While 911 is always available, many older adults feel more secure wearing a personal emergency response system just in case they can’t reach the phone. These devices, which can be worn around the neck or on the wrist, can immediately summon emergency assistance if you need it. Contact your local hospital or home health agency to find out how to acquire one of these systems.9. Better safe than sorry. If you are determined to stay in your home for as long as possible, you need to make certain changes to your environment to ensure your safety. Remove items from the floor that could cause falls, arrange furniture for the easiest exit path, add banisters and guard rails to all steps, showers and bathtubs, purchase a security system, check your fire alarms and make sure all interior and exterior areas are well lit.10. Engage your mind. Keeping your brain healthy can be a challenge for many seniors. Consider a new hobby, renew your interest in playing cards, board games or crossword puzzles, join a book club or listen to books on tape. Any type of regular mental stimulation will help you stay sharp and reduce memory loss.11. Make a scrapbook or record a family history. Make a scrapbook that tells your life story; where were you born, who was in your family, your experiences as a child, when and whom you married, your career, promotions or accomplishments over the years. Include pictures and other mementos. Consider writing a journal, creating a family tree and sharing life lessons that are important to you. Many seniors are also producing videos about their life for future generations to watch and enjoy.Remember, you’re never too young or too old to make New Year’s resolutions. The trick is actually sticking to the plan throughout the coming year. These suggestions are designed to keep your mind and body fit and to help you organize your personal life. Good luck!