Looking after your health is important throughout your lifetime but as you reach your sixties and seventies it’s even more important to begin taking care of your health. It can seem daunting to begin changing your routine and lifestyle in your later years but most elderly people only need to make small changes to their daily routine in order to make a significant impact on their health.
Get Outside Everyday
Being outside is good for both our mental and physical health. Fresh air and exercise is highly beneficial for our health so aiming to get outside for a short period of time every day is a good goal. It can be very easy to remain inside later in life, as moving around becomes difficult without assistance. If this is the case, a mobility scooter can completely transform an elderly person’s life, helping them to regain their independence.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Eating well is particularly important in old age. Increasing your intake of fibre as you get older is essential because as we age our digestive system slows down, which can cause health problems. Increasing your intake of fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains is very important. It doesn’t have to be difficult to incorporate these foods into your diet, try adding fruit to your whole grain cereal for breakfast or adding a side of vegetables to every meal. If changing your diet is an unappealing prospect, make simple swaps, such as choosing whole grain bread instead of white.
Loneliness is a huge problem among elderly people. Sometimes people can go for days without speaking to anyone, which is highly detrimental to their mental health. Getting in the habit of organising regular social gatherings is a good idea. Alternatively, why not try a new club or hobby aimed at your age range to meet new people and help you to commit to going out and socialising every week?
Attend Regular Check Ups
It’s easy to miss appointments and forget to reschedule them. However, it’s important to remember to attend your medical appointments, particularly to see the dentist and optician. As we age, the risk of cavities increases, so it’s a good idea to visit the dentist every six months. Similarly, the quality of our vision can decrease as we age- sometimes without us even noticing. Visiting the opticians regularly will ensure that your prescription is up to date and the health of your eyes is examined.
We all know how beneficial exercise can be for reducing the risk of disease, helping us maintain a healthy weight and keeping our bones and joints in good condition. Keeping active can become difficult for elderly people. However, there are many activities which are not too strenuous and are accessible for people with limited mobility. If you need some inspiration, some examples of gentle exercise include bowls, tennis and swimming. There are usually a number of seniors clubs available at leisure centres which are a good option for people who are beginning to exercise regularly. Regular exercise also helps elderly people to recover from minor and common illnesses such as colds and the flu more quickly.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important for people of all ages- it helps our bodies to recover and repair. Most of us will feel the effects of a bad night’s sleep almost immediately the next day. As we age we might find that our sleep becomes disrupted by the need to use the bathroom. If you find yourself having to get up multiple times in one night, then it is worth seeking advice from your healthcare practitioner as this can decrease the quality of your sleep and health over time. In general, to improve the quality of your sleep you should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening. Additionally, keeping active will help elderly people to sleep better.