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Senior Health: Secrets to a Long Life

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

Longevity isn’t entirely determined by genetics. Good habits and a positive mindset can stave off age-related illness and significantly enhance a person’s wellbeing. Following are five secrets to long life that every aging adult should know, shared by the experienced Lehigh Valley caregivers at Home Care Assistance.

Staying Connected

Social engagement is key to living a long and happy life. Senior isolation and loneliness do not just affect a person’s mental health. These things can actually cause a marked decrease in physical wellbeing especially if they are not quickly identified and resolved. Aging adults can join support groups when struggling with chronic illness, seek companionship care and transportation assistance from Lehigh Valley home care agencies, start book clubs or take part in activities at local recreation centers. Staying connected can be as easy as joining a social networking site in order to communicate with family members and friends via the web.

Having a Purpose

People who have a sense of purpose tend to maintain higher levels of health than do those who do not. Seniors can look for local volunteer opportunities, find new hobbies or learn how to use their professional skills to supplement their retirement incomes or help others. Feeling like a vital and valuable part of an organization or cause can improve life quality and promote longevity.

Eating for Balance and Optimal Energy

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is important for preserving senior health, however, each repast should continue to be an enjoyable event. Rather than turning old favorites into bland, flavorless meals, seniors should focus on consuming fresh and naturally delicious foods that meet their energy needs and serve as a significant source of comfort. If sodium has to be decreased, this should be replaced with nutrient-rich spices and herbs. When sugar is reduced, this should be replaced with fresh honey or natural coconut sugar.

This is the perfect time of life to start tasting new and exotic fruits, trying new ways of cooking vegetables and experimenting with ancient grains, herbs and spices. Learning how to value foods for their medicinal properties can lead to an exciting new way of eating that holds endless possibilities. This way, seniors are always focused on trying new things, rather than on letting old things go. There should never be a sense of loss or of things winding down.

Engaging in Enjoyable Activities

Although it is important to stay active, it is equally important for seniors to engage in fitness activities that they love. If aging adults like taking walks, they should schedule these with friends in bright, scenic areas that boost the spirits. Seniors can look for country line dancing classes, square dancing, ballroom dancing or even Zumba classes at local recreation centers. Cycling, swimming, or tai chi in the park can be fun, engaging ways to connect with others, burn calories and retain balance, motor control, and other physical skills. The emphasis should be on finding activities that promote enjoyment so that seniors look forward to their workouts rather than dread them.

Getting Rid of Old Bad Habits

Staying healthy and enjoying a long life necessitates the elimination of old bad habits. The golden years are the perfect time to quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption and learn effective stress management techniques. It is never too late to start making choices that benefit the body and mind.

Provide your senior loved one with the support and resources necessary for him or her to live a long, happy, and healthy life. At Home Care Assistance of the Lehigh Valley, all of our care services include the use of our holistic Balanced Care Method. BCM promotes healthy eating, daily exercise, important social connections, and helps seniors establish and maintain a sense of purpose. For more information on BCM or our other care services, call 484-350-3874 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.