One of the main things we consistently refer to on our blog is how when we age we are ever-changing. In particular, this blog post will be referring to lifestyle changes as we age. As we get older we aren’t always as mentally sharp as we used to be, and our physical bodies begin to weaken. This isn’t always so easy to accept and to make the necessary changes to live healthier lives. At times, our minds can be younger than our bodies in the sense that we think we may be able to do things we used to. Below we’ve listed specific lifestyle changes in regard to exercise and diet that can be difficult for seniors to change.
Exercise: While exercise is good for our seniors, it is best in moderation. If mom and dad, used to be a marathon runner, it is important that they ease up on how much running they continue to do or maybe give it up all together. Too much exercise can be detrimental to physical health, and as we age, it becomes a lot easier to injure ourselves from working out. Instead, it can be helpful to do workout classes with similar age groups that take it slow or workout with a trainer, who knows the best limits.
Diet: Maybe cooking wasn’t always a strong suit for mom or dad. However, the older we get the more important our diet becomes. Believe it or not, it can be harder to monitor a diet when we get older simply because cooking isn’t easy. Again, our bodies are not like they once were, being able to consume anything and everything or having a stomach that’s made of iron. It’s important for our seniors to sit back and let someone else take care of the cooking, to ensure they are eating the proper foods they need.
According to Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH, “Conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, depression, and some cancers can be prevented or more easily treated in seniors with good diet, exercise, and other lifestyle modifications.” Exercise and diet are so important for everyday health. However, in addition to these lifestyle changes, below we’ve listed a few more serious everyday changes that can be even harder for our seniors to accept.
Everyday activities: there comes a point where even a few everyday activities become hard to do alone, these types of activities can be very hard for seniors to let go of. Some of these include, driving, bathing, changing, eating, using the bathroom, and cleaning. All of these everyday activities can be extremely difficult to give up, just because it feels like a loss of independence. Sometimes our seniors may feel embarrassed that they can’t do certain things alone without help.
Lifestyle changes are ones that need to be made to live healthier and even safer lives in older age. Having some help or letting someone else take care of them for a change is perfectly normal and healthy. It’s important to help our parents, or elderly loved ones, understand that they have been around for 70, 80, or even 90 years taking care of themselves, and making some changes are all a part of aging.
“Helping Seniors Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Successful Aging.” Philips, 22 June 2014, www.lifeline.philips.com/resources/blog/2014/06/helping-seniors-make-healthy-lifestyle-changes-for-successful-aging.html.
Nabili, Siamak N. “Healthy Aging Tips for Successful Senior Health.” EMedicineHealth, www.emedicinehealth.com/healthy_lifestyles_for_seniors/article_em.htm.