The Top 10 Health Tips for Seniors
As we age, health tips become even more important to maintain good health in order to prevent health problems or to keep chronic health issues from becoming more serious.
But what is the best way to do this?
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by information—the internet is flooded with millions of pieces of advice on senior health and how to improve your overall well-being. That’s why we’ve boiled all these facts into 10 easy-to-follow health tips for seniors that give you the biggest benefits as you age. We’ll also highlight how West Bladen can help you through the advantages of assisted living.
Top Ten Health Tips for Seniors
1. Health Tip: Keep Moving!
Exercise is great at any age, and you don’t have to run a 5k to experience the many health benefits a regular workout has to offer. There is a wide range of low-impact activities such as water aerobics, walking and resistance band workouts that provide great advantages for seniors.
If you have joint problems or other mobility issues that keep you from more vigorous exercise, talk to your doctor. They can easily create a workout plan that will give you the benefits you need.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
While your nutritional needs change as you age (more on that later as we explore other health tips for seniors), many of the same principles of healthy eating still remain. This includes:
- Selecting high-fiber foods with whole grains
- Avoiding fried foods
- Getting enough fruits and vegetables every day
- Maintaining “portion control”
- Limiting sugar intake
- Avoiding foods made with fats like butter, lard and margarine
At West Bladen, we take care of the menu planning and food preparation for you so you can concentrate on other things like visiting with family or exploring new hobbies. Our dietitians have a keen understanding of how to make food that is delicious as well as nutritious. We can also easily work with you to accommodate any special dietary needs.
3. Be Aware of Changing Nutritional Needs
Seniors often need more B vitamins, particularly B6 and B12. Because bone mass typically decreases with age, calcium also takes on even more importance, along with Vitamin D—which your body needs to absorb the calcium.
If you aren’t sure if you’re getting the nutrients you need from what you eat, speak with your doctor about supplements that can help.
4. Drink More Fluids
Did you know that you tend to feel less thirsty when you get older? This is one reason why seniors are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated, and we believe drinking more water is another important health tip for seniors.
Stay hydrated throughout the day by taking sips of water as part of your regular routine, and aim for drinking eight glasses of water every day. It also helps to eat foods that have a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, lettuce and celery.
5. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Being good to yourself is about taking care mentally as well as physically. Sometimes, seniors may feel very depressed or anxious, and these emotions are not a normal part of the aging process.
We care about our residents—if you are feeling lonely or blue, please talk to us. We want to know! We’re dedicated to being here for you and providing any assistance you need. If you are constantly depressed, we encourage you to speak to your doctor who can help provide a treatment plan.
6. Keep Your Regular Checkups
You should regularly meet with your doctor for wellness exams or to help you manage any chronic diseases you may have. It’s vital to maintain effective communication with your physician and health care team in order to maintain a healthy life and prevent any problems from becoming more serious.
At West Bladen, we can easily provide transportation to and from doctor appointments, and our care team here works with your physicians to ensure you’re getting the help you need.
7. Take Medications Carefully
More than 40 percent of older Americans take five or more prescription drugs, and 20 percent take ten or more.
It can be overwhelming to keep track of so many prescriptions, and that’s one reason why we offer a medication management program that assists you to be sure you’re getting what you need as directed. Always ask your doctor if you have any questions about your medication and let them know if you’re having any troublesome side effects.
8. Stay Mentally Active
Just as lifting weights can train your muscles, your brain needs to exercise in order to remain in good shape. But you don’t have to use any of those “brain game” apps in order to stimulate your gray matter. All it takes is something as simple as a crossword puzzle, playing cards, Sudoku or even reading a great book.
At West Bladen, we have a variety of activities including bingo, arts and crafts and board games that are geared toward keeping your mind healthy and active.
9. Get Enough Sleep
This is one of those health tips for seniors that is easily overlooked. As you age, your sleep patterns change, and it’s not unusual for older adults to have insomnia or difficulty staying asleep. According to the American Sleep Foundation you can improve your sleep hygiene by:
- Exercising regularly
- Minimizing use of electronics in bedroom
- Avoiding caffeine or large meals later in the day
- Keeping a regular sleep schedule
- Developing a regular bedtime routine
In addition, don’t fall asleep with the television on—this will cause you to get poor-quality sleep and interrupt your circadian rhythm.
10. Have Your Eyes Checked Regularly?
If you have glasses, be sure to get your eyes checked every year to determine if there’s a need to update your prescription. Having clear vision and the right pair of glasses or contacts can dramatically reduce your risk of falling.
West Bladen Features the Best Assisted Living in Bladenboro, NC
It takes a lot of work to keep healthy during your senior years. Add on to that the tedious chores and tasks of everyday living, and you can see how easy it is to be overwhelmed.
That’s where we come in.
As a family owned and operated assisted living community in Bladenboro, NC, we offer peace of mind in a stimulating environment where all the mundane tasks such as housekeeping, cooking and cleaning are handled for you.
With a friendly staff that’s always ready to give a helping hand whenever it’s needed, you’ll see why our residents love living at West Bladen. Want to learn more? Contact us to schedule a tour. Hurry! Our spaces fill quickly.