For many people, the thought of a new year on the horizon gives them the opportunity to reflect on their lives and focus on what they want to accomplish during the next 12 months. If you have an older loved one, a new year brings opportunities to help them live their best life.
Let’s look at 5 ways you can help your older loved one have a great new year.
Keeping a Positive Mindset
Research has repeatedly shown that maintaining an optimistic or positive attitude about life has a significant impact on both emotional and physical well-being.
While it is unrealistic for any person to be upbeat and happy every moment of the day, it is important to help your loved one focus on the positive aspects of their life instead of dwelling on problems.
As the new year approaches, think of ways you can help your older loved one make positive thinking a daily habit. Always encourage them to remember what they are grateful for and to see life from the proverbial “glass is half full” perspective.
Make Better Food Choices
Like many people, there are seniors who need to take steps to improve the nutritional value of the food they eat. If your loved one falls into that category, do your best to help them make more healthful food choices.
Whether this means eating a more balanced diet of lean meats, fruits and vegetables, or reducing the amount of salt or sugar they consume daily, these changes can go a long way toward improving their long term physical health.
If your loved one needs more information about healthful meal planning, have them visit a registered dietitian. Such a professional can help them understand what and how much they are eating and give practical tips on how to make healthy eating a daily habit.
Exercise is important for everyone, but this is especially true for seniors. Encourage your older loved one to do some form of exercise each day, in alignment with their physical capabilities.
Whether that means walking for a few minutes each day or doing simple arm and leg lifts from a chair, any kind of physical activity will be beneficial. Studies have shown that some sort of exercise each day can help seniors lessen stiffness and pain, reduce depression and anxiety, as well as reduce blood pressure levels.
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Keeping the Mind Active
Keeping their mind active and occupied with stimulating activities is one of the most important things a senior can do for their long-term health. Some studies have shown that staying mentally active can help reduce the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Encourage your older loved one to read books, play mind stimulating games such as Sudoku or complete crossword puzzles. In addition to reducing the risk of cognitive loss, stimulating the mind can minimize depression, improve mood, and help give your loved one a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Emphasize Social Time
Some seniors struggle with loneliness and feel isolated as they get older. Help your loved one stay socially engaged by encouraging them to visit with family and friends as much as possible. If he or she has grandchildren, schedule times for them to visit on a regular basis.
It’s also important for your loved one to spend quality time with their friends or engage in social activities with others. Set up lunch at a local restaurant so they can see friends and spend quality time together.
If your local library has a book club or puts on a movie night each month, encourage your loved one to attend such events. Interaction with other people in intellectually stimulating settings will do wonders for their emotional health.
Frontier Management is Here to Help
A new year brings many possibilities to help your older loved one live as abundantly as possible. By helping them stay positive, eat healthfully, keep their mind active, and spend time with family and friends, you can play a big part in maximizing their quality of life.
The dedicated team at Frontier Management has helped many families find the right senior living community for their older loved one. Our communities help our residents be their best in all areas of life, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
If you would like to learn more about our services, we invite you to visit one of our communities and speak to our friendly and compassionate staff.