This week we wave goodbye to 2019 and move into the roaring 20’s again! With the New Year comes the tradition of setting New Year’s Resolutions. This isn’t just an activity for the young – setting resolutions can have a positive impact on health for older people too. Therefore, we’ve put together our top resolutions for older adults:
Ten Minutes Physical Exercise Per Day
Exercise is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Keeping active in senior years is key to remaining healthy and mobile, making this a great resolution for older adults. Aiming for 10 minutes physical exercise per day is a realistic target which is very possible to achieve. It doesn’t have to be extreme – it could be a short walk, stretches or exercises like Tai Chi or yoga.
Give Your Brain A Workout Too
Committing to regular brain training will improve cognition and keep the brain healthy for longer in later life. Challenges such as daily crossword puzzles or Sudoku, or learning a new language will all help to keep the brain regularly exercised. Other options could include reading or joining a discussion group or book club.
Find Something To Laugh About Everyday
Laughter is a great stress relief which reduces feelings of anxiety and boosts the immune system. A fun resolution is to find a reason to laugh or smile everyday. It could be setting aside time to watch a favourite comedy or comedian, watching funny videos online or spending time with friends and family who have a good sense of humour.
Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions to seek out new knowledge and skills. However, those in their later years can do the opposite by passing on their knowledge to younger generations. For instance, it could be a top secret recipe they’re famous for which they pass on to the next generation so it’s never lost.
Preserve Family History
Often the eldest people in the family hold all the important information and stories from the family history. Maybe this year is the time to make a resolution to ensure this history is preserved for the next generations. How about recording stories for future generations or making a time capsule for descendants to open in the future? Families may be familiar with their parent’s stories but may know little about their grandparents and great-grandparents. Sharing stories from earlier generations will ensure they continue to live on in the future and will allow the family to reminisce about people who may have passed away a long time ago. Another idea is to digitise important family documents and photographs and pass copies on to key family members to look after.
Rekindle an old friendship
How about a new year with old friends? As we move through life, we loose touch with important friends and relatives who we were once close with. Making a resolution to reach out to a long lost friend or relative can be a really positive resolution in later life. Reconnecting with an old friend can be as simple as making a phone call or sending an email or postcard to get a conversation started. The internet makes it easier than ever to track down lost contacts, with many people now using Facebook and other social media sites.
Prevent Falls In The Home
Falls are one of the leading causes of serious injuries for older people, with one in three suffering from a fall each year. That’s why guarding against falls is one of our top resolutions for older adults. Assess the home and eliminate any trip hazards such as loose cables or rugs. Reduce the risk of falls by installing rails in the bathroom and adequate lighting for night time. A Careline Personal Alarm will add extra security – in the event of a fall help would be just a push of a button away. For more ideas, see our tips for preventing falls in the home.
Take up new opportunities
The New Year is a great time to get involved in something new such as a hobby or volunteering opportunity. Pursuing new goals and adding a purpose to life is incredibly beneficial to older adults and helps maintain emotional well-being.
Get A Healthy Amount Of Sleep
A lack of quality sleep has significant impacts on health. Lack of sleep increases rates of diseases common among older people such as Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure. A resolution to get a healthy amount of sleep every night could have a big impact on overall health. For more advice on sleep, see our 5 top tips for having a healthy sleep.
Eating healthier is up there with exercise as one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions. Again, this is a great resolution in older age too. Certain foods can help reduce symptoms of old age related illnesses so look to make changes which incorporate more of these healthy foods in the diet. Foods high in Omega-3 and Vitamin D are especially beneficial in older age. For people with reduced appetites, smoothies and juices are an easy way to ensure a diet is nutrient packed.