Focusing on efforts to improve one’s health and wellness shouldn’t stop at a predetermined age. As we get older, we need to focus on our physical well-being as well as our happiness, fulfillment, and mental fortitude in order to maintain a balanced mind and body.
Elderly adults in Canada should not be afraid to live their best and most fulfilled life. With the assistance of family, friends, and professional in-home caregivers from Senior Home Care by Angels, seniors can successfully maintain a high quality of life by pursuing the seven essential elements of senior wellness.
What Are the Seven Elements of Senior Wellness?
Getting Enough Sleep
Getting restful sleep is important for seniors in so many ways. Getting enough sleep can impact one's physical, emotional, and mental health. However, many seniors face challenges with getting enough sleep. For example, one study found that older adults may awake earlier in the morning due to body rhythm changes called advanced sleep phase syndrome. Additionally, a range of age-related physical conditions can make it difficult for seniors to get enough sleep, which can cause sleep deprivation.
According to recent studies, most seniors need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to feel recharged the next morning. Here are some ways seniors can improve their sleeping habits:
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the evenings
- Go to bed earlier in the evening to ensure they get the recommended amount of sleep
- Go to bed and awake at the same time every day, even on weekends
- Don’t take naps longer than about 20 minutes during the day, if possible
- Consider if any medication side effects or symptoms of chronic illnesses could be preventing sleep
- Hire an in-home caregiver from Senior Home Care by Angels to help monitor proper sleep habits and assist with any sleeping discomfort.
It's important for seniors to stay physically active as they age. A lack of exercise can quickly lead to physical and mental health problems, especially for older adults.
However, seniors don’t have to break records at the gym to stay healthy and feel well. A moderate amount of daily physical activity can make a huge impact on keeping the body in good working order and leading to a clearer mind and a greater sense of fulfillment.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults over the age of 65 should work on getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Family caregivers and in-home caregivers from Senior Home Care by Angels can help encourage seniors to exercise throughout the day by accompanying them on their exercise routine or providing transportation to senior centres and local gyms.
Some activities that can help seniors stay physically active include:
- Outdoor hobbies like gardening and sports
- Cardiovascular workouts
- Muscle-strengthening exercises
A proper diet is the foundation of good health, especially for older adults. Seniors who don't get the right level of nutrients run the risk of having trouble maintaining cognitive and physical energy. However, some seniors may find preparing healthy meals challenging due to age-related mobility issues or may forget to eat meals throughout the day. Family members and in-home caregivers from Senior Home Care by Angels can help elderly adults stick to a nutritious diet by assisting with meal preparation and shopping for groceries.
Here are some ways seniors can get the nutrients they need:
- Drink milk, as it provides calcium and protein, which are essential to good bone health
- Use less salt when flavoring foods and use spices and herbs instead because salt can increase the risk of developing heart disease
- Don't depend too much on nutritional supplements as the body has an easier time of absorbing natural vitamins and minerals from food
Falling is one of the biggest safety risks for seniors. Many seniors struggle with mobility and balance issues, which can make them more prone to falling and injuring themselves. Making a senior’s home physically safe and easy to navigate is a first step toward wellness. Family caregivers and professional in-home caregivers from Senior Home Care by Angels can help make in-home environments safe for seniors and keep a close eye on them to ensure their well-being.
In addition, seniors need protection from scammers who prey on the elderly through email scams, telemarketing scams, and other methods. Family caregivers should take precautions ahead of time to prevent senior loved ones from falling victim to scammers.
Seniors need to interact regularly with other people, like family, friends, and neighbours, in order to maintain their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Loneliness is a silent killer for the elderly and is a contributing factor to dementia, depression, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other mental and psychological conditions.
Seniors can fulfill their need for social interaction by:
- Participating in community activities, games, and projects
- Attending gatherings with friends and family
- Engaging in conversation
- Hiring an in-home caregiver from Senior Home Care by Angels, who can provide meaningful companion care
- Using digital tools like social media, texting, and video conferencing to stay connected with people they care about
As people grow older, they naturally begin to reflect on their lives and achievements. Seniors enjoy passing along their knowledge and experiences to younger generations.
Family, friends, and in-home caregivers can help foster their senior loved one’s sense of identity by listening to their stories and encouraging them to participate in their local community as a mentor and teacher. Seniors tend to disregard the scope of what they’ve achieved throughout their life, but recognizing and celebrating these experiences can be an important source of satisfaction and well-being.
After retirement and withdrawal from professional and political involvement, seniors may need to find something new to provide direction and a sense of purpose. They may need to realize their lives are meaningful.
Seniors can discover a new sense of self-purpose through volunteer work and other activities that help others in their community. A caregiver from Senior Home Care by Angels could assist with transportation to and from such activities.
Contact your local Senior Home Care by Angels office today to learn how our in-home caregivers can help your senior loved one.