New Year Goals for Aging in Place
The new year has always been a time of resolutions and new beginnings. For independent seniors, it’s the perfect time to reflect on one’s current health and set wellness goals for the future. Research suggests that creating achievable health goals can encourage overall well-being while maintaining independence for older adults.
So, what are some basic health goals for older adults who want to age in place? Simply put, it all comes down to establishing a healthy routine.
- Begin the year by scheduling a comprehensive health assessment. That way if there are any specific health concerns, they can be identified. Your primary healthcare provider is also a great partner for setting goals – and can provide additional resources to reach them.
- Follow a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients. Adequate hydration is equally crucial, so be sure to drink plenty of water. A nutritionist or dietitian can create meal plans to support your health goals, including strengthening bones and muscles.
- Make sure your daily routine includes regular physical activity. Depending on your abilities and preferences, you might try gentle yoga or a guided strength-training class. Physical therapists are terrific at helping the body not just recover, but also improve.
- Take your medications as prescribed. It’s important to follow the recommendations to both address the health condition involved and to avoid potential complications. A pharmacist can explain the purpose of each medication and what to expect when taking it.
- Prioritize your mental and emotional health. Loneliness and isolation are the risks of living alone or independently. Participate in activities with other people that bring you joy, relaxation, and a sense of purpose. This will help you build a community of friendship. Senior centers often offer a variety of activities for social engagement and fun.
- Schedule regular health check-ups throughout the year to monitor your progress with any chronic conditions. If a new health concern emerges, book an in-person or virtual appointment promptly for the best possible outcomes. Keep your doctor or primary provider informed of any health changes.
Even with all these resolutions in place, it’s not uncommon to need additional help as we grow older. Aging in place can have its challenges; for example, transportation to medical appointments may be difficult to arrange. Routine household tasks can become too much physically. In-home health care or home care services can play a pivotal role in supporting seniors in their pursuit of their health goals and their independence. Trained professionals – including nurses, therapists, and personal caregivers – can provide a range of care that addresses existing health conditions in addition to preventive measures and lifestyle modifications. For instance, a home care agency might help by making healthy meals, reorganizing tasks to make activities safe and easier, or provide companionship to support mental wellbeing. Working with seniors and their families, in-home care professionals monitor progress, make necessary adjustments, and empower older adults in their health journey.
Navigating the new year can be a journey of empowerment for seniors choosing to age in place. Setting health goals, supported by in-home health and home care services like those provided by Family Home Health, lays the foundation for a fulfilling and vibrant year – and lifetime.