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The 7 Best New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors in Independent Living

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We made it through 2021 and are now approaching 2022.  With the help of vaccines, some of the worst effects of the pandemic were mitigated. However, that doesn’t mean we should start ignoring our personal health goals. No matter how tough things have been, now is the time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions once again. Here are some of the best New Year’s resolutions for seniors and their unique needs.

1.) Ensure the Safety and Integrity of Your Home

Home is where the heart is, after all, and it’s a good place to start on your list. Suppose you haven’t yet moved into independent living in Clinton Township, MI. In that case, this item should absolutely be on your list.

Do an honest assessment of your home. Is it conducive to proper aging? How your home is set up can have huge effects on your health as you get older! The biggest risks to assess for elderlies include fall hazards, assistive devices (or lack thereof), and sufficient lighting.

Some common fall hazards or where falls happen often are:

  • Stairways
  • Dangerous walkways (blocked by electrical cords, boxes, etc.)
  • Spills during food preparation
  • Too much clutter, especially in high traffic areas
  • Old and wrinkled carpets
  • Rugs that have grown loose and/or slipper with use

Also, as your eyes get older too, you’ll need stronger, better lighting even in the daytime. That is the reason why most senior living communities prioritize better lighting in their interior décor, as well as uniquely patterned carpets and high-wattage lighting.

For these reasons, many seniors in our area end up opting for independent living in Clinton Township, MI, because these communities come equipped with everything that an aging senior needs – from grab bars to wheelchair-friendly facilities.

2.) Get Into Low-Impact Exercising

Keeping physically active is among the best ways for elders to remain healthy throughout the new year. Studies have proven the positive health benefits of routine exercise for seniors. These include:

  • Lower risk of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  • Maintaining a normal body weight.
  • Better balance
  • Fall prevention
  • Relief for depression
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Better bone and muscle strength

Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. As for the specific activities, look into the broad category of low-impact exercising. Some popular options include yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, biking, and of course, walking.

3.) Diet and Stay Hydrated

A good diet is a simple (but not easy) New Year’s Resolution for seniors. You’ll want to eat more vegetables, nuts, high-fiber fruits, whole grains, lean meat only, and only low-fat dairy. Limit foods that contain too much salt, butter, fatty meat, sugars. Pre-packaged foods are generally unhealthy choices. Adhering to these rules can protect you from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart diseases, cancer, and other common illnesses resulting from bacteria and viruses.

And don’t forget to remain hydrated while following your healthy diet. Try to always keep a container full of water near you throughout the day, and remember to keep it refilled.

4.) Keep Your Brain Healthy

You’ve likely heard the saying “use it or lose it.” Well, this saying is especially relevant for aging adults. The experts recommend keeping your brain sharp while aging with mentally tough challenges such as sudoku and crossword puzzles. Besides games, there are other beneficial activities like reading and writing and discovering new hobbies.

Hand of a senior citizen holds a piece of the puzzle while playing a puzzle in a retirement home

 5.) Sleep Well and on a Schedule

How can you use your brain without getting the proper sleep? You really can’t. As a senior, you should try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. That quantity of rest will allow your immune system, concentration, and memory to function normally.

This point bears mentioning because many seniors find it difficult to stay asleep or fall asleep. To deal with insomnia, follow the steps below: 

  • Don’t use your computer, tv, or smartphone in the room where you sleep.
  • Don’t consume coffee or other caffeinated drinks in the evening. Stay away from alcohol in the evening too.
  • Ensure that your bedroom remains quiet, cool, and comfy.
  • Follow a strict sleeping schedule. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. If you must nap, then keep it short.
  • Remain active throughout the day. Going to bed tired out is a good thing.
  • Consult with your doctor to ensure that none of your medicines or medical conditions affect your sleeping patterns.

6.) Address Your Bad Habits

None of the above will be possible for you if you have bad habits that are getting in the way. That is why 2 New Year resolutions on the lists of many seniors include quitting drinking and/or smoking. 

Unfortunately, these 2 bad habits make it difficult to follow other good practices on this list. They can also have some seriously bad consequences for your health. Smoking is directly linked to high blood pressure and cancer. It can also make conditions such as osteoporosis worse. Drinking also carries negative long-term health dangers, but the increased risk of falls is the more immediate concern.

It is never too late to stop (or limit) drinking or smoking. As you might imagine, there are plenty of alcohol and tobacco addiction support groups and programs out there that are a tremendous help. Your doctor can help you get involved with one. For even more support, you can also keep your family and friends in the loop of your goal to quit these bad habits.

7.) Learn More

It can be tempting to lean back and relax after you retire but don’t neglect thinking about your future needs. It can get overwhelming at times, but there are plenty of resources on the internet for elders and their loved ones to check out. Our blog is an excellent one. But if you prefer to receive help in person, you may schedule an appointment on our website.

An important New Year’s resolution for those considering independent living in Clinton Township, MI, is to look thoroughly at the top options. Then, get in touch with one of our friendly team members to arrange a tour or to discover more about the care plans our community provides.

Written by The Parkdale

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