“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” – David Bowie
September is Healthy Aging Month. This annual health observance was created to focus on the positive aspects of growing older, and the importance of taking control of your health. At Nazareth Home, we promote staying active and vibrant as long as possible. Here are a few tips for healthy aging:
The old adage, “You are what you eat.” has a lot of truth to it. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, reduce your sodium and keep a diet full of fiber. At Nazareth Home, regardless of dietary situations, we work to provide specific nutritional meals to elders that meet daily requirements.
Not living at Nazareth Home yet? We also offer Meals for Elders, home-cooked meals for those maintaining their independence, and a healthy lifestyle at home.
Know Your Medications – Less Can be More
While medications do often help maintain health and wellbeing, studies have repeatedly shown that lots of older adults end up suffering from problems related to medication.
“More is not always good. Reducing medications as we age can often be beneficial. In many cases less is best,” says Dr. Bonnie Lazor Medical Director of Nazareth Home.
Elders are more susceptible to adverse effects of medications, especially opioids. Nazareth Home developed a ‘Menu of Personal Comfort Items’ to distribute to elders that promote alternatives to medication for discomfort and pain. The menu includes ‘comfort items’ such as a visit from a therapy animal, a massage or a warm blanket.
While some medications are necessary, it’s always a good idea to create a comprehensive list of all medications being taken. Review the Beers List of Potentially Inappropriate Medications for Older Adults. If you have any concerns, make sure and talk to your doctor before you stop taking a medication.
Regular exercise is one of the greatest keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Whether it’s Tai Chi, water aerobics at your local gym or simply going for a walk, staying active boosts your mood and your overall quality of life. The key is to find something you enjoy and keep it up.
Nazareth Home offers multiple exercise classes for different skill levels throughout the week. These classes are great for elders social wellbeing too.
Find healthy ways to manage stress. Take care of yourself when you are stressed by getting enough sleep, exercising and eating nutritious foods. Talk to a loved one or counselor about your stress, and try some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga or meditation.
Research shows that people who are more religious or spiritual are better able to cope with stress, heal faster from illness and experience increased benefits to their health and wellbeing. Elders can attend prayer meetings and Mass at Nazareth Home, along with many other social activities to keep them engaged.
Aging is something no one can run from or avoid. Embrace the process and tune into your thoughts and emotions. Ensure they are positive and affirming. Focus on what you can do instead of any limitations you may have. Relax and enjoy the journey to becoming who you should have always been.