Authored by Libby Howell, a.k.a. “Gamma,” Grandparent.info
As the body ages and abilities change, living healthy as a senior may seem difficult. There are, however, many wonderful resources available to help older adults live better lives. From streamlining how you live to staying physically fit and eating the right foods, these handy tips and digital resources, courtesy of the Arizona In-Home Care Association, are just the beginning.
Streamline Your Living Needs
One of the easiest ways to live better is to pare down your living needs and accept some additional help–if limited. For example, downsizing to an independent living community might be a good decision for some. Seniors who enjoy the social setting of a community will likely find this to be a good option. Smaller accommodations than a traditional house are also beneficial because it is less to maintain and keep organized.
Even if you are only interested in learning more about these communities, it is possible to opt for a tour of such properties. This will allow you to evaluate whether this potential option is the best fit for your specific needs. The cost of independent living communities can vary widely based on amenities like meals, social gatherings, outings and fitness classes.
Take Care of Your Teeth
It may not seem like something that should be at the top of your priority list, but dental health care — especially as you begin to age — is extremely important. In addition to staving off mental health issues such as depression, good oral health can also help you prevent problems such as heart disease. That’s why developing a good brushing and flossing routine, both in the morning and at night, is crucial as the years start to add up.
Of course, many things can get in the way of a clean mouth — and that includes misaligned teeth. Thankfully, there are at-home options, such as byte, that utilize high-frequency vibration technology to give you results in about 90 days. Byte is cheaper than other treatment programs (traditional braces, Invisalign, etc.) and doesn’t require multiple trips to the dentist’s office. Keep in mind that more serious cases will require you to schedule visits with your dentist and/or orthodontist.
As your body ages, the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs changes too. For example, your body needs additional calcium to maintain bone density to prevent fractures; vitamin B12 and D are also important. Whether you take a multivitamin or not, it is important to eat right to ensure you receive enough of those good nutrients. Oftentimes, cheese, trout, tuna, and egg yolks, among other ingredients, are good options to get these vitamins.
When you understand which foods have the vitamins and minerals you need the most, then it is easy to spice up your diet with new recipes and dishes. According to Harvard University, the body absorbs more nutrients from eating whole or prepared healthy foods than by taking a vitamin pill. So, fill your plate with healthy options that are prepared well for a healthy body.
Commit to Fitness
You can remain physically fit by practicing at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio and some strength training each week. As the body ages, it loses muscle mass and becomes more brittle. By maintaining muscle with weight training and by practicing cardio, it is possible to improve physical fitness for fewer accidents. Stretching before and after exercise is also important to improve flexibility, balance, and grip. With improved flexibility and balance, the number of potential falls and spills will also be diminished.
While exercise is good, some can cause new problems or make existing issues worse. So, avoid running, leg presses, and crunches, which can put stress on the back and knees. Instead, try walking, doing body weight squats and pushups instead.
Contrary to what you may have heard, aging and living better are within reach. It is, however, important to research options that are best suited to you and your needs. Find online resources that will help you get the information you need. From which foods are best for your health needs to safe exercises that work well for your body, there are tons of options out there. Don’t forget to streamline your day-to-day life for an easier yet enjoyable routine. Therefore, consider downsizing to an independent living community should it be a good fit for you.
The Arizona In-Home Care Association (AZNHA) is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. Please visit the AZNHA website to learn more about the organization, its members, its mission, and to find car