A new year represents a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to metaphorically “wipe the slate clean” and begin to make better choices for the future. People of all ages set goals when a new year begins. Unfortunately, most individuals never achieve their objectives because their expectations are simply too high. It’s important to select new year resolutions that are achievable, yet push a person to make positive changes. Here are a few attainable new year resolutions for seniors to help them enjoy a healthier, happier life.
Encourage everyone, including the seniors in your life, to set nutritional goals. It doesn’t need to be anything extreme. Simply adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet may be enough to make a significant impact. We know how important nutrition is for health and longevity. Analyze your loved one’s diet and determine some realistic goals for her.
Even people with mobility restrictions can create fitness goals. Mild to moderate physical activity can have a meaningful positive impact on a person’s life. Exercise can improve mobility, reduce risk factors for serious diseases, improve balance, and much more. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that physical activity can even improve life expectancy. Fitness goals should be tailored to a person’s specific needs and abilities. There are no shortages of exercise options. Some popular physical activities for seniors include Tai Chi, walking, and water aerobics.
Seniors must keep their brains active to promote optimal cognitive function. There are many ways to give the mind a workout. This may include crossword puzzles, games, socializing, reading, and solving puzzles. A new year resolution for the brain might be something like, “I will complete three crossword puzzles each week and read one book every month.” Help your loved one find brain boosting activities that he enjoys. This makes it seem less like work and more like fun.
Twenty percent of seniors suffer from depression or anxiety. Encourage your loved one to talk about his feelings. A person must recognize a problem before it can be solved. Make sure the older adults in your life have someone to speak with about these issues. Their new year resolution could be a simple promise to communicate when they are feeling down or upset.
This resolution may seem completely unrealistic to some people. An older adult who has been smoking for 40 years may not be willing to stop at this point in life. However, it’s never too late to quit. We don’t need to discuss the obvious dangers of this habit. A popular alternative to cigarettes is an electronic cigarette. While they are not perfect and do contain nicotine, they are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. The goal is to have a person switch to an e-cigarette and slowly decrease the amount of nicotine intake, until eventually the user can eliminate the nicotine entirely. There are also nicotine gum products, patches and other alternative solutions for people who want to stop smoking. Some insurance companies, even some state health departments, will even cover the cost of smoking cessation products.
The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to create new habits. Persuade the seniors in your life to use this opportunity to set goals for a healthy happy future.