While we all hope to reach a ripe old age, that goal is not without its share of worries. From physical changes to financial concerns, it can feel like there’s more than enough trouble to go around. However, some of the most common of these stressors are pretty simple to resolve with a few handy tricks up your sleeve. Check out these tips, courtesy of Aspen Senior Care and Aspen Senior Day Center.
Aches, Pains, and Twinges — Oh, My!
Achy joints, stiff backs, and painful twinges are things people think go hand-in-hand with aging. However, Cleveland Clinic explains there are things we can do to keep our joints comfortable throughout life. Maintaining a healthy weight, warming up and cooling down before exercising, and lightening up when we become sore are good ways to keep our bodies moving easily.
There are also some lifestyle choices that can negatively influence joint health. For instance, smoking can contribute to inflammation, so quitting is a good way to safeguard your mobility. What’s more, staying properly hydrated will also help, since your body will pull fluid from your joints when you aren’t drinking enough.
Rather than reaching for carbonated beverages or energy drinks, keep a bottle of water handy so you aren’t tempted to drink something less hydrating. An insulated bottle is a great way to ensure your water is cool and refreshing. There are many different possibilities, from ultra-durable options, like the Yeti Rambler, to chic and stylish S’well bottles. Pick something you’ll feel good about taking with you and will meet your personal preferences.
Staying physically active and eating healthy are important components to warding off cognitive decline, but one of the best ways to stay sharp is to be a lifelong learner. Not only does this open the door to learning anything you want, but it also helps improve brain health, boosts longevity and enhances social interaction.
With all this extra time on your hands, you have the perfect opportunity to explore a host of topics and hobbies. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to speak Italian, you can join MeetUp groups, work with a tutor and use online programs. Always wanted to learn how to make croissants or how to bake sourdough bread from scratch? You can do it! Many seniors even relish the idea of going back to school to earn degrees they always wanted. With the option to learn online, you can take classes whenever it fits your schedule.
Rest Your Weary Bones
Getting enough sleep can challenge many people over the age of 65, yet we still need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Medical News Today explains that being sleep deprived brings a number of negative consequences, like irritability, moodiness, and memory difficulties. It is linked with things like increased risk for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
A big culprit can be aches and pains associated with aging, specifically back pain brought on by spinal stenosis or osteoarthritis. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, one of the simplest solutions is to invest in a new mattress that is designed to help with back pain. The critical part of this decision is to purchase a mattress that coordinates with your sleep style and provides optimal spinal alignment; you can get recommendations from your doctor or physical therapist for the best choice for your situation. Adding pillows to relieve back pain can help, too.
Are You What You Eat?
We’ve all heard the old maxim that “you are what you eat,” but what does that mean for older adults? According to NetDoctor, eating properly during our senior years can make a big impact in keeping common concerns at bay. Make sure you’re consuming a healthy diet, including probiotic foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals, and try eating smaller meals to ease digestion.
You might be surprised to learn that exercising regularly can also help keep your digestion on track. Physical activity promotes gut motility, though, so make sure you keep movin’ and groovin’ so you can avoid digestive upset. You can ease into a workout regimen that is comfortable and enjoyable with a well-chosen app that coaches you through a tailored workout regimen.
Since seniors tend to produce less saliva, simply chewing food longer can help promote healthy digestion, and keeping your chompers in good shape is also a big plus. To keep your teeth strong and healthy, make sure you see your dentist regularly, brush and floss after meals, and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash once every day. When you brush, make sure you use fluoride toothpaste, and if arthritic hands are preventing you from tending your mouth properly, look for products designed to help or talk them over with your dentist. If you struggle with the cost of dental care, be sure to explore low-cost or free options near you.
We all want to grow older, but none of us want the worries associated with it. Making some adjustments to your daily habits, like drinking more water, quitting smoking, and getting a good night’s sleep, can bring wonderful respite. Keep a few tricks up your sleeve to keep common senior stressors at bay!
Contributed by Lydia Chan.
Lydia is the co-creator of Alzheimerscaregiver.net, which provides tips and resources to help caregivers. Her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and Lydia struggled to balance the responsibilities of caregiving and her own life. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences with caregivers and seniors. In her spare time, Lydia finds joy in writing articles about a range of caregiving topics.