Advice on Aging Gracefully

Author: Scott Sutherland

The seniors who make it to the age of 75 or 85, or even 100 have triumphed and survived many threats to their physical and emotional health. Through these events, they have become much wiser and possess a maturity that only comes with age.

Depression, worthlessness, and anxiety are some feelings that are often found in seniors as they age. There is no need to allow these feelings to take over your life. As you begin to look at life, you can see that there are so many things to be thankful for, and many times you will discover that you can do things that were not possible before. When you begin to look at the positive things that come with the process of aging, it will allow you to age gracefully and gain the most from your senior years.

Here are a few things that you can to do embrace the aging process:

1. Try to exercise daily.
The serotonin levels in your body begin to decrease with age. These levels regulate your mood, appetite, sleep patterns, and blood pressure. When your serotonin levels drop, you are at risk for anxiety and depression. When you exercise, you are boosting the serotonin levels in your body and reducing the stress hormones. Exercising is also a great way to prevent injury and treat many symptoms that come with disease.

As we age, the amount and type of exercise we do will change. Some great options for seniors would be swimming, walking, yoga, or even activities that increase the range of motion. With the help of a caregiver or physical therapy, even those who find themselves bedridden can benefit from exercise to reduce the changes of bed sores and stiff muscles.

2. Go outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.
Being outside is good for your physical and mental health. It exposes you to vitamin D, which improves your immune system, regulates cell growth and helps you continue to absorb calcium. It is recommended that you spend 15-20 minutes a day outside. This will ensure that you are getting the vitamin D that your body needs.

3. Find things that you love to do.
When you retire or move to a senior care home, that doesn’t mean that you stop living. It’s important that you continue to do the things that you love. If you liked going to a movie, go to the movies. If you liked to paint, continue to paint. Doing the things that you love will keep your mind occupied and give you a much greater sense of self-worth.

4. Stay connected with your loved ones.
Many studies have shown that seniors who stay connected to the people they love and the social circles they belong to have lower rates of developing dementia. A support team can be created by involving yourself at the local community center or with any organization.

5. Keeping the mind busy and active.
Your brain will perform much better when it is challenged. A few things that you could do to keep your mind active would be to try and learn something new, go join a group activity, or crossword puzzles. Keeping your mind busy will also help treat illnesses such as dementia and depression.

6. Finding a few meaningful activities to fill your day.
It is important to find meaningful activities to fill your day. When a senior reaches the age of retirement, they are often caught off guard by the extra free time they have. To avoid feeling worthless, you can fill your day with things that you love and fun hobbies. A few new hobbies that you might try are writing, drawing, or traveling.

7. Accept the help of a caregiver.
Having a caregiver can help seniors preserve their sense of dignity and independence. By doing this, they are improving their quality of life and extending their lives. A caregiver can provide seniors and their families with a security that they need to keep living and doing the things they love to do.

8. Feel free to ask for help.
Asking for help when you need it is perfectly ok. As humans, we are social people. We need to be able to connect with others and we need support from time to time. Asking for help does not make you weak, it makes you human.

If you need the help of a caregiver to help you age gracefully, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Home Helpers of Dallas is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in DallasRichardsonGarlandPlanoHighland ParkUniversity ParkMesquiteAllenCarrolltonIrvingAddisonFarmers BranchLake HighlandsDuncanvilleDesotoFairviewCedar Hill, and McKinney, Texas.

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