For people of all ages, the New Year is the perfect time to make a fresh start. Whether our goals include taking steps to improve our health, being more social or organizing our homes, New Year’s Day 2018 is the time to begin acting on meaningful resolutions.
Residents of memory care and assisted living also can benefit from New Year’s resolutions. To help your loved one start the year on a healthy note, consider these steps you can take together to improve overall well-being and happiness.
Get More Exercise
More exercise and activity are beneficial for everyone — including assisted living and memory care residents who may suffer from health problems like arthritis and diabetes. Encourage your loved one to take advantage of the many forms of physical activity available in assisted living, including yoga, walking and chair exercise classes. Check with your loved one’s doctor before starting an exercise program.
Increase and Improve Sleep
It’s a myth that we require less sleep as we age. Older adults need about seven to eight hours a night, just as much as younger people. Encourage your loved one to avoid daytime naps to ensure adequate sleep at night.
Seek out New Experiences
Change can be intimidating, but it also can open doors to new experiences that enhance emotional, intellectual and spiritual health. Make sure your family member is aware of the many stimulating activities available in assisted living and memory care.
Focus on a Healthy Diet
Eating better and losing weight are common New Year’s resolutions, but beefing up your loved one’s diet can have real effects on overall health and well-being. Encourage your family member to take advantage of the nutritious and delicious meals provided in assisted living and memory care, including plenty of fruits and vegetables every day. Soups and juices can serve as valuable sources of nutrition for older adults with reduced appetites.
Reconnect with Old Friends
If your loved one has lost touch with someone, the New Year is a wonderful time to rekindle a relationship. While you’re visiting your family member, you can help place a call, send an email or write a letter to get a conversation started.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Approximately 20 percent of seniors suffer from anxiety or depression. If your loved one has any of the signs or symptoms — including prolonged feelings of sadness, fatigue, insomnia, reduced appetite, or lack of interest in activities he or she normally enjoys — take the initiative to seek help from a medical provider.
Keep the Brain Active
To help keep your loved one’s brain functioning at its full potential, share in activities that challenge cognitive abilities. Working puzzles, reading books, attending lectures, or socializing with others all can help keep your family member alert, engaged and enjoying life.
Try implementing these New Year’s resolutions to increase your family member’s health and happiness. Next year at this time, you can reflect together on all the progress your loved one has made.