Five Healthy Resolutions for Older Adults in the New Year
It’s the season of resolutions. Let’s hope in late January you’re still holding on to yours! But let’s be realistic, resolutions are not one-size-fits-all. What you may have been resolute to do at the age of 25 does not really fit with your life at 45 or 65. It seems that as we age, we have to be more selective regarding resolutions. But with age comes wisdom, so there are definitely positive approaches to selecting realistic and beneficial resolutions. Here are a few healthy possibilities.
1. Brain Jogging
It’s pretty well known by this point in time that your brain needs exercise just as your body does. There are a wide variety of options available, so find something that suits your interests. If you’re a word person, crosswords, reading, and writing are always good choices. If you’re more number or spatial oriented, Sudoku or puzzles might suit you. Better yet, try some of the activities that may not be in your usual comfort zone. It may spark new neural connections.
2. Get Your ZZZZs
It’s no secret that seniors have challenges getting to sleep or staying asleep steadily once they do. There are some very common mistakes that can be corrected (yes, it might take sacrifice but that’s part of the whole resolution process, right?) Don’t use your TV, computer, or cell phone in the bedroom within a couple of hours of going to bed. Maintain a low level of noise in your bedroom and keep the area cool as it’s more conducive to sleep. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol in the evening as each contributes to sleeplessness (despite belief to the contrary with alcoholic beverages.)
3. Keep a Gratitude Journal
There’s no doubt that challenges can mount as aging occurs. But there’s also ample evidence that maintaining a positive attitude of gratitude is beneficial for both mental and physical health. By keeping a gratitude journal, you will force yourself to deliberately contemplate the things you have to be thankful for in your life. By writing them down, you are internalizing and reinforcing them even more and building a strong conscious connection to positivity.
4. It’s Winter, But Watch out for Fall
Make a resolution to ensure your living quarters are safe and not a fall waiting to happen. Clutter is a big culprit of in-home accidents. Clear out stacks of boxes or old magazines. Do you have too much furniture in certain rooms — extra chairs, one or two many coffee tables — or electrical cords that could be a hazard? Also, make sure your throw rugs aren’t ready to slide out from under you or your carpets don’t have dangerous bumps that are waiting to trip you up.
5. Light up Your Life
An overlooked but vital element of safety and higher quality of life as you age is related to your vision. Older eyes tend to need brighter illumination throughout both the day and night. Make certain that you have strong lighting throughout your living space. Replace old and low wattage bulbs. Make certain that your lighting is evenly distributed throughout rooms and there are no dark danger spots. Use natural lighting when possible, too. If you tend to keep the blinds drawn tight all the time, life them up and let the daylight help the cause of lighting your place up safely and efficiently.
These are just a few resolutions to consider — not only at the beginning of the year but year round. And don’t forget to make a resolution to call Metro Trans if you are ever in need of transportation for appointments or daily errands. We’re always ready to serve!