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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Breaking the Mold

by Deah on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 1:30 PM

I heard Dad tell a friend the other day that he didn’t want to invest in getting some dental work done because he thinks he is living on a day to day basis. Wow! That makes you think! I know he is not content with the way his health is. It really makes one stop to think that we should be doing all we can now so that our later years can be spent well. It breaks my heart to see how miserable he is.

What does one do to help enhance our elder years? I know we may get tired of hearing about diet and exercise but there is most definitely a reason for that. That is what it comes down to in the end. I recently have been looking at eating healthier and getting more exercise as being good to myself (see my next blog on Being Good to Yourself). It is never too late to improve our life style, which translates into improving my health through diet and exercise. I want to be independent in my later years and enjoy life and my family.

Americans are living longer than ever before. Maintaining a healthy weight will help lower our risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Adults over the age of 50 have different dietary needs from those of younger adults. We should look at the food we put into our bodies as the fuel we need to be healthy and happy. These foods should be rich in nutrients, like: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat free or low fat milk and cheese – foods rich in vitamin D and calcium, seafood, lean meats, beans, nuts and seeds.

Not enough can be said about keeping mentally and physically active. Getting enough exercise is an important part of everyone’s everyday health and especially true for older adults. This goes for physical activity and as well as keeping our brains engaged. The benefits are enormous: Our brains will work better, improving cognitive function; we will have more energy; our balance will improve, helping prevent falls; improving strength; preventing or delaying such things as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis; and just generally improving our mood and fighting depression. Experts claim that older adults should strive to be as active as possible. Some recommending that seniors age 65 and older get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) every week. Studies have also shown that staying involved in the community and family events and continuing to enjoy hobbies and interests will help keep our mind alert and prevent cognitive decline while reducing the risk of dementia. Good healthy habits may help you live on your own for a longer period of time as well.

Other things to avoid that are risks to a healthy life expectancy are just common sense behaviors such as wearing your seat belt, avoiding excessive alcohol, and not smoking.

It is never too late to improve your life style by including an improved eating plan and becoming more physically and mentally active. Be good to yourself for a healthier and longer life.

Blogs Parent Separator Deah Bowes
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Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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