Eating better, exercising, watching your weight – these are all common new year’s resolutions many people make around this time. For older adults, making small, healthy decisions every day can help you. Consider taking on these resolutions to make 2018 a better one! Here are the five best new year’s resolutions for elderly care.
- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. In later life, you still need healthy foods, but fewer calories. Go for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean protein and healthy fats. Choose a variety with deep colors: dark green, bright yellow, and orange choices like spinach, collard greens, carrots, oranges, and cantaloupe are especially nutritious. Choose fiber-rich whole grain bread, brown rice, and whole grain pasta. Pick less fatty meats like chicken or turkey. Have heart-healthy fish, like tuna, salmon, or shrimp, twice a week. Include sources of calcium and Vitamin D to help keep your bones strong. Use healthier fats, such as olive and canola oils, instead of butter or lard. Use herbs and spices to add flavor when cooking, which reduces the need to add salt or fat.
- Be active. Physical activity is safe and healthy for older adults, even if you have heart disease, diabetes or arthritis. In fact, mild to moderate activities can help you with your ailments. Consider taking a tai chi class or starting water aerobics. Even taking a stroll around the house or stretching in your living room can help you control your weight, build muscles and bones, and improve your balance, posture and mood.
- See your provider regularly. You should schedule an annual wellness visit with your healthcare provider to discuss health screenings and any changes in your advance directives. Take screening tests that check your vision, hearing, and for other conditions such as breast cancer, colon cancer or osteoporosis. At each visit, talk to your doctor about your medications and whether or not you still need them. Find out if you should be getting any new/booster immunizations.
- Guard against falls. One in every three older adults falls each year. Exercises such as walking or working out with an elastic band can increase your strength, balance and flexibility, and help you avoid falls.
- Work your brain. Read. Color books. Socialize. Go for activities that boost your brain, such as joining a bridge club or a discussion group at your local library or senior center.