6 Tips for Keeping the Body Healthy in the Senior Years

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Generally, people who adopt healthy habits earlier in life are more likely to do things to keep their bodies healthy later in life. Even if your senior loved one is only recently beginning to understand the benefits of being more health conscious, there are steps that can be taken to keep an aging body healthy further into the golden years. Here are six recommendations.

1. Eat Healthy

The digestive system naturally slows down with age, as does the rate at which food is turned into usable energy, referred to as metabolism. These are just two of the reasons following a diet that includes fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and other nutrient-rich foods is a good way to keep the body healthy in the golden years. Drinking sufficient water is also important, since seniors are naturally more susceptible to dehydration.

Eating nutritious foods is one of the many ways seniors can boost their health and enjoy a high quality of life. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Wellesley homecare. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

2. Stay Physically Active

Regular exercise for seniors has been associated with everything from increased energy and enhanced cognitive capabilities to better sleep habits, mobility, circulation, and coordination. Fortunately, there are many forms of exercise older adults can benefit from to maintain a healthy body in the golden years, including:

• Casual walking
• Water-based activities
• Yoga and other disciplines that are less demanding but still effective
• Gardening, dancing, and other favorite activities
• Low-impact workouts
• Chair-based exercises

Home care can be a wonderful solution when seniors need companionship and assistance with exercise a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. Senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

3. Don’t Forget Mental Health

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation is one of many organizations that note the importance of maintaining optimal mental health for older adults. Statistically, seniors tend to be more susceptible to depression and other issues related to social isolation and loneliness. A well-rounded approach to mental health that includes mentally stimulating activities, regular socialization and interaction, and appropriate treatment if signs of lingering depression or anxiety are noticed can address health needs of this nature.

4. Focus on Dental-Related Needs

There’s a tendency for seniors and caregivers to be especially mindful of physical care. While this is certainly important, dental care shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s important to have regular dental exams, since mouth infections can be an early sign of potentially serious health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. Ill-fitting dentures and undetected gum infections can also affect health and wellbeing.

5. Manage Medications

On average, seniors regularly fill anywhere from 9 to 13 prescriptions a year. For this reason, another thing older adults can do to maintain healthy bodies is to keep track of the medications they’re taking to avoid drug interactions and other potential risks. Medication apps or organizers can be used to help with this task.

6. Get Preventive Care

One other suggestion for seniors looking to maintain healthy bodies later in life is to be diligent about preventive care. This is the type of care that focuses on detecting potential problems as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of successful treatment. For older adults, preventive care typically involves:

• Recommended health screenings (e.g., prostate exams for senior men, mammograms for older women, hearing and vision exams)
• Routine medical and dental checkups
• Seasonal vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia 

Seniors who need help making healthier lifestyle choices can benefit from professional at-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Wellesley Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (781) 239-0060.

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