Many of the healthy habits seniors adopt can prevent long-term illnesses and ailments, but not all of them have immediate benefits. From minor pains to lethargy, some of the issues older adults live with every day can be taken care of in just a few simple steps. Here are a few ways your senior loved one can get an instant health boost.
1. Quit Smoking
Seniors who use tobacco products might not realize quitting can immediately boost their health. According to the nonprofit organization Tobacco-Free Life, an individual’s heart rate and blood pressure stabilize just 20 minutes after his or her last cigarette. Within 24 hours of quitting, the risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiac arrest may plummet as well.
A professional caregiver can be a great source of encouragement when your loved one is trying to adopt healthier habits. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of senior home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Studies continue to show self-initiated laughter can make people feel better. Laughing and smiling trigger the release of important natural chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals provide energy, elevate mood, and lower blood pressure.
3. Try Deep Breathing Exercises
All seniors should try deep breathing exercises at least a few times to see if this practice can help them with mood swings, stress, and general lethargy. The primary goal of these exercises is to get as much oxygen as possible to the heart and brain. This is accomplished by inhaling deeply before exhaling in short bursts. Deep breathing and meditation are also popular options for natural pain management.
Some seniors need encouragement and assistance with meditation and other daily activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and hourly elderly home care. Allentown seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
4. Step Out into the Sun
Getting too much sunshine can be dangerous for some people, but smaller doses of sunlight can be extremely beneficial. When sunlight hits the skin, the body is flooded with hormones that balance natural chemicals. The human body also needs sunlight to produce vitamin D, which is why most medical specialists suggest being out in the sun for at least 30 minutes a day.
5. Drink a Glass of Warm Water
Drinking warm water increases blood flow to soft tissues, which can help with pain relief and acute injuries. If warm water doesn’t sound appealing, seniors should try herbal tea with a splash of lemon juice or a little bit of honey.
6. Go for a Walk
Regular exercise is vital to long-term health, and even a short walk can provide immediate health benefits. Gently raising the heart rate for 20 or 30 minutes triggers the release of adrenaline, which can boost cognitive abilities for hours. A short walk can also stabilize blood sugar levels, diminish joint pain, and reduce brain inflammation.
7. Take a Short Nap
Most restorative sleep should take place at night, but naps are a great way to lessen the symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation. The National Sleep Foundation claims short naps increase alertness, aid in digestion, and combat depression. Daytime naps should only last for around 30 minutes, and seniors need to avoid taking naps later in the day.
8. Eat Brightly Colored Fruits & Vegetables
Most colorful fruits and vegetables contain quite a bit of vitamin C, and this potent antioxidant is vital to a senior’s health because it triggers the body’s natural healing response and fights off germs. Some doctors suggest everyone should take vitamin C supplements during cold and flu season to stave off illnesses.
If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, a professional caregiver can help. For many seniors in Allentown, PA, 24-hour care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 484-350-3874.