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Self-Care for Seniors: 8 Tips to Maintain a Healthy and Happy Life

December 6, 2021

Growing old is inevitable. No one escapes the sneaking prevalence of aging. This fact is a period in one’s life cycle that everyone experiences. A senior’s journey begins at the age of 60, and a series of challenges imperil their well-being.

As people grow older, flourishing life transitions are gradually hitting. Retirement, physical and emotional changes, loss of independence, a sense of purpose, difficulty in mobility, and being prone to illnesses are indisputable realities in a senior’s life.

At this point in one’s life, dealing with change is complicated. Unfortunately, many among the aging population are worried, anxious, and fearful. Nevertheless, it is not too late to reinvent oneself when reaching a milestone age, having the right attitude, and containing positive reasons to live a meaningful and brand new life.

Family members cope with challenges in caring for their elderly. They typically tend to resort to sending their loved ones to retirement homes. Holding hopes that they will be loved and taken care of, but still, the best remedy to couple aging problems is the love of a family.

Keeping excellent health admonishes the ideas of medical treatments and allows the elderly to age enthusiastically, vibrantly, and purposively.

Common signs of aging

Even though everyone ages at different speeds and to various degrees, there are many universal aging consequences. The first step toward protecting one’s health is understanding how mental and physical changes occur as one becomes older. Here are some of the most common changes to foresee when aging:

  • Susceptibility to infection and diseases
  • Greater risk of heat stroke or hypothermia 
  • A slight decrease in height 
  • Bones break more easily 
  • Joint changes, ranging from minor stiffness to severe arthritis 
  • Stooped posture 
  • Slowed and limited movement 
  • Slight slowing of thought, memory, and thinking
  • Reduced reflexes and coordination and difficulty with balance 
  • Decrease in visual acuity 
  • Some degree of hearing loss 
  • Wrinkling and skin-related ailments
  • Whitening or graying of hair 
  • Weight loss

Here are eight tips that can be best practiced for elders to maintain a healthy and happy life.

Encourage Physical Activity

Maintaining a healthy level of physical activity can help counteract many of the negative impacts of aging. According to Medline Plus, regular exercise can enhance your balance, keep you mobile, boost your mood by reducing anxiety and sadness, and lead to better cognitive functioning. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis are just a few chronic disorders that can be managed.

Encouraging the elders to perform physical activities has numerous advantages, particularly in improving holistic health. There are many ways to engage the elders in such activities by employing various strategies to make them active.

Develop an exercise plan, set realistic goals, provision of checklist for progress, create a support system and make every activity enjoyable.

Stay Connected with Friends and Family

Studies show that happy seniors have less trouble getting up, dressing, or taking a shower than unhappy seniors who are twice as likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and strokes. The enjoyment of life, connection with family and friends, and general happiness are relevant determinants of mobility in seniors.

Having a renewed purpose of living a life full of surprises and thrilling experiences can prolong one’s desire to achieve a fulfilling mission. Elders find joy in taking care of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and volunteering for civic and community programs.

Seniors who spent hours a day interacting were happier, had a better quality of life, and were less likely to be concerned or worried. Loneliness is linked to an increased risk of sadness and sickness. Every day, make an effort to interact with at least one individual. It's time to make new acquaintances if your old ones have moved away or died. Join clubs that interest you or volunteer in places where you will likely meet people who share your values and interests.

Be Mentally Active

According to research, mental decline is not a natural aspect of aging. Dementia diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are less likely in those who live intellectually engaging lifestyles.

Alzheimer's Association emphasized that keeping your brain active increases its vitality. Doing new things in new ways appears to help retain brain cells and connections. It may even produce new brain cells. In essence, breaking out of your routine can help keep your brain stay healthy.

Seniors must keep their minds sharp and embrace change. Anyone can experience simple forgetfulness, but it is more likely to increase as you get older, affecting your focus and attention span and your capacity to adjust to new conditions. Using your brain, like everything else, will help it work better.

Engage with daily puzzles, crosswords, mental arithmetic, reading books, mind-blowing games, be socially active, take up new hobbies, and enjoy outdoor activities.

Maintain Proper Hygiene

Maintaining proper personal hygiene is one of the most effective ways to maintain good overall health and wellness. One would probably ask what causes itchy skin in the elderly? In most cases, it’s a result of diminished hydration that most senior people experience.

Another quick answer is personal hygiene. It may help you keep clean, raise your confidence, and improve your relationships, as well as lower your risk of disease and unfavorable medical problems caused by poor hygiene.

Personal hygiene encompasses benefits to oneself. It is one way of employing self-care and appreciating oneself by applying best practices of hygiene.

The best tips that can improve a senior’s hygiene are eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and taking a shower daily. You can also encourage them to trim nails, brush teeth, wash hands, change clothes, and maintain a clean and safe environment.

Eat Healthily

A balanced diet includes nutrient-dense foods from all major food groups, such as lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Building strong bones, protecting the heart, preventing disease, and boosting mood are just a few health benefits of eating healthy foods.

According to a pyramid produced by Tuft University experts for seniors, eating a balanced diet is comparable to physical activity in terms of relevance to health. Mealtimes can still be enjoyable, even if your body is undergoing some changes.

Monitoring the food intake of seniors must be observed to balance the nutrients needed by their bodies. Develop daily meal plans and have a list of essential food.

To maintain a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water. Water is also suitable for skin health to avoid irritated and itchy skin problems. Some possible causes of itchy skin may vary from the following:

  • Poor health status and quality of life
  • Lack of sleep
  • Drug side effects
  • Physiological changes
  • Impaired skin barrier function
  • Neurological and psychological changes associated with age
  • Poor hygiene

It is recommended that elders drink enough water to keep themselves hydrated. Regular emollients prevent water loss, entry of irritants and soothe dry, rough, and flaky skins.

Developing active lifestyles and engagement with societal trends will keep seniors committed to exploring new activities and interests to contribute to their well-being.

Technology use and social media engagement can connect their family members and relatives and reunite with long-lost friends. Staying associated with realities and events can avoid detachment from communities that seniors’ used to deal with in their younger years.

Keeping up with trends such as fashion, technology, food parks, malls, music, television programs, Netflix series, movies, transportation, and the like can help them feel younger and have a sense of belongingness. It can boost their mood and drive their sense of identity and have a social value.

Visit the Dentist Every Six Months

Along with the changes brought by aging, seniors must be proactive and set standards for a better lifestyle.

Dental risks increase as people age. Poor oral health may lead to severe illnesses led by bacteria and infections. Oral problems can be caused or led by some common health disorders in elderly persons, such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Medications used to treat various health conditions might potentially cause concerns with teeth and oral tissues.

Seniors must include dental visits in their routine to address oral problems and avoid the worst oral health scenarios.

Create a Routine

Following a daily routine can reduce stress, increase security, and improve quality of life. Doing basic activities around the same time daily creates a structure and a regular flow to the day.

A routine can assist you in sticking to your good habits. A daily plan can help you eat healthier, get more exercise, and spend more time with friends and family. Whether written down or mentally mapped out, creating a schedule can help you stay happy at home.

A pattern also makes it easy to recall if seniors have taken their medication, used the restroom, drank water, and eaten.
Seniors’ routines must be based on their current patterns of activities, so it won’t be difficult for them to cope with changes and adjustments.

Conclusion

Embracing the process of aging is gratifying. Staring at it like a gift from above is more than anything a person can ask for. Everyone will get old, but it takes a bunch of guts for a human being to accept the beauty and value of aging.

As you become older, life knocks you around and teaches you lessons that make it more delightful. The energy that elders have created is a reflection of a resilient version of themselves. Living with the best lifestyle practices is a depiction of a life well-lived.

Allow oneself to age gracefully, couple it with a healthy lifestyle, and worry less about wrinkles and gray hair. Spend time with loved ones, do things that result in genuine happiness, and be free to live an extraordinary life.

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