April 2023 edition
Wellness Tips for Seniors
Maintaining or enhancing one’s health and wellness shouldn’t stop at a predetermined age. As we get older, we need to pursue a balanced mind and body by focusing on our physical well-being as well as our happiness, fulfillment, and mental fortitude.
Seniors should not be afraid to live their best and most fulfilled life. With the assistance of family, friends, and professional in-home caregivers, seniors can successfully pursue the following seven elements of senior wellness.
Physical activity is essential to healthy aging. It can prevent or delay many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others
Try to add more physical activity to each day this month. Here are a few ideas, but keep in mind, any physical activity is better than none at all. Even if you just do a lap or two around your kitchen to start out.
Walking is a perfect way to start exercising. It requires no special equipment, aside from a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and can be done almost anywhere.
Senior sports or fitness classes. Exercising with others can help keep you motivated while also providing a source of fun, stress relief, and a place to meet friends.
Water aerobics and water sports. Working out in water reduces stress and strain on the body's joints.
Yoga. Yoga combines a series of poses with breathing. Moving through the poses helps improve strength, flexibility and balance, and can be adapted to any level.
Tai chi and qi gong. These martial arts-inspired systems of movement can increase balance and strength. Classes for seniors are often available at local YMCA or community centers.
Mindfulness refers to a popular form of meditation that can help seniors maintain a healthy physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Its main purpose is to help you achieve a relaxed state of mind by increasing your awareness of your present thoughts, emotions, and feelings. More importantly, mindfulness activities will help you stay grounded in the present moment and help you let go of any worries and problems you might have had.
Add mindful breathing each day
Mindful breathing is a popular form of meditation because you can do it anytime and anywhere. It is also a handy tool to have if you suddenly find yourself in a very stressful situation or have a panic or anxiety attack.
One example of this exercise is the belly breathing technique. You can do this by assuming a comfortable position (e.g., sitting or lying on the bed), placing one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Inhale a gulp of air and hold it for four seconds, then exhale slowly. Focus on the sensation you feel on your hand, diaphragm, and chest.
Engaging in social and productive activities you enjoy, such as taking an art class, joining a hiking club, or becoming a volunteer in your community, may help to maintain your well-being and independence as you age. An active lifestyle is more than just getting your daily steps in.
Following are ideas that might work for you. Some of these include activities that can be enjoyed even from a distance using phones, computers, and other devices. Others can be done alone. So even if you’re in a rural area or have other restrictions, you can still find ways to engage in social activities you like.
Play cards or other games with friends in person or online.
Travel with a group of older adults, such as a retiree group.
Video chat or call your friends and family members.
Try different restaurants with your loved ones.
Listen and share favorite music with your family.
Join a group interested in a hobby, such as knitting, hiking, birdwatching, painting, or wood carving.
Reconnect with old friends through your high school or college alumni association.
BE Active In Your Community
Volunteering is good for your health! Studies have shown that those who spend more time volunteering develop a greater sense of purpose in life, thereby changing their outlook entirely. They are much more motivated to live healthier lifestyles in order to achieve their goals. You want to sleep better, eat better and have well-managed schedules.
Volunteering is also linked to better stress management and prevention of chronic health diseases. So if you need another reason to be in top shape, then here it is.
Visit a community or senior center and take part in its events and activities
Serve meals or organize clothing donations for people in need
Run errands for people with limited mobility or access to transportation
Join a committee or help out with an activity at your place of worship
Volunteer at a school, library, museum, hospital, or animal shelter
Help with gardening at a community garden or park
Organize or participate in a park clean-up through your local recreation center or community association
Sing in a community choral group, or play in a local band or orchestra
Teach a favorite pastime or skill, such as embroidery, photography, building models, chess, baking, woodworking, calligraphy, or quilting, to a new generation
Try this simple recipe from A Place For Mom. It is packed with protein and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and energy boosting B vitamins.
One-Pan Salmon and Vegetables
This non-recipe is versatile! Replace salmon with another flaky fish like tilapia or trout. Swap out the veggies for whatever’s in your fridge, or add potatoes for a heartier meal.
1. Preheat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (not wax paper). If you don’t have these, you can thoroughly grease the pan with vegetable oil.
2. In a large bowl, toss all veggies with 2 tablespoons of oil and seasoning, then spread them into a single layer on the baking sheet.
3. Nestle your salmon fillets, skin side down, between the vegetables. Brush with remaining olive oil, and top with 2 thin lemon slices each.
4. Roast for 12-15 minutes, until salmon is flaky and mostly opaque.
5. Add 1 salmon fillet and a heaping serving of roasted veggies to each plate for a healthy and satisfying meal. Enjoy!
· 1 squash or zucchini, sliced into rounds
· ½ onion, cut into wedges
· 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
· 1 bell pepper, sliced
· 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
· 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning or your favorite fish-seasoning blend
· 2-3 salmon fillets, about 4 ounces each
·1 lemon, optional
Exercise Your Brain
The brain is one of the most important muscles in the body. And just like other muscles, the brain needs exercise to stay healthy. A 2014 study found brain exercises helped older adults maintain reasoning skills and speed of cognition 10 years after the research period came to an end Puzzles and brainteasers—for example, Sudoku, crosswords, word jumbles and word searches—are simple ways to improve word association and recall memory. Jigsaw puzzles and chess are another great way to exercise the brain.
Since local newspapers usually have at least one, if not all, of these activities in their daily editions, the cost is low. In fact, the cost could potentially be zero as there are also dozens of websites and apps that offer these games for free.
Book of The Month
Reading is linked with a number of positive outcomes for older adults, including enhanced memory retention, sharper decision-making skills, stress reduction, better sleep, and even the delayed onset of Alzheimer's and dementia. Not to mention the fact that it's pleasurable, too.
THE BOOK ABOUT GETTING OLDER (FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT) BY DR. LUCY POLLOCK
This book is part self-help, part guide to aging, and part hilarity. It covers important things like how to ask your doctor if you really need to be taking a dozen medications and how to have difficult conversations about stopping treatment if a disease becomes terminal.
But it also has funny anecdotes and heartwarming stories. It’s a great choice if you want to start thinking about the hard stuff but you want a little levity mixed in for good measure.
FROM AGE-ING TO SAGE-ING: A REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH TO GROWING OLDER BY ZALMAN SCHACHTER-SHALOMI AND RONALD S. MILLER
This is a book for seniors who want to age into a life that’s full of excitement and passion. Schachter-Shalomi aims to help readers let go of the negativity, fear, and anxiety that too often goes along with aging, and instead embrace the fact that with age comes some great benefits, like wisdom. He also covers the stigma around aging and gives some practical tips on remembering that what someone else thinks of you is none of your business
New Products to Try
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Well-earned pampering awaits on senior cruises, where relaxed environments collide with sophisticated programming. The best cruise lines for older adults include both ocean liners and river ships and comewith the allure of fewer to no kids onboard.
Holland America Line, Cunard, Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Viking Cruises, American Queen Steamboat Company, American Cruise Lines and Tauck cater to older travelers.
Various cruise lines offer discounts to older travelers for certain sailings. When booking a cruise, it is worthwhile to check for any senior deals available. Some cruise lines offer senior deal online but for others you might need to call or ask a travel agent for discounted iteneraries offered to travelers over age 55. Some cruise companies partner with AARP to offer reduced-fare sailings.
The experts at cruisebookings.com have compiled a list of the top 5 cruise lines for seniors. https://www.cruisebooking.com/articles/cruise-holidays/five-best-cruise-lines-for-seniors
1. Holland America
Holland America has built a reputation for providing one of the best services for adult passengers. This cruise line has long been popular among senior travelers due to the classic and classy cruise experience. The ships are medium-sized and prioritize essential amenities such as exquisite dining, entertainment and itineraries.
2. Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a nostalgic cruise that takes you back to the golden age of sailing. It provides an authentic experience of British tea, enriching lectures, and a planetarium. This line also has various stateroom offerings for guests with different budgets. They provide top-notch entertainment with flawless service, making it one of the best cruise lines for seniors.
Their “Viking Inclusive Value” pricing includes one complimentary shore excursion in each port. Its personal service and thoughtfully appointed ships make it an ideal cruise for older passengers.
AmaWaterways is among the top river cruise lines across the globe. It has a total of 24 ships and provides extraordinary itineraries.
AmaWaterways is highly inclusive, and guests are provided with all necessary amenities. They have a unique ‘Twin Balcony’ concept which offers a full-size exterior balcony and a French balcony. Lastly, this foody-focused cruise line offers fantastic shore excursions without extra charges, ideal for senior cruisers to explore a destination.
5. Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL made it in the top 5 due to its affordable fares, freestyle cuisine option and frequent deals for senior cruisers. Apart from this, their attentive services and indoor facilities also make them one of the favorites for senior citizens.
So, if you are looking for cruise lines for seniors, then consider the comprehensive list provided above. All of the cruise lines provided above add their own taste to an itinerary and provide a unique experience for senior travelers. Whichever you choose to explore your destination, you won’t be disappointed.
Discussing living arrangements is not an easy conversation to have — but going about it the right way can help everyone live more safely and get more out of life and fell confident about their loved ones safety.
Preparing for the Conversation
Do your homework. Before you initiate the conversation about senior care, prepare yourself:
Create a list of your concerns. Are you worried, for example, that your home is no longer a safe environment for them? Are you having some health problems? Are you starting to have trouble with activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, bathing or managing their medications? You may want to discuss your concerns with other family members to get their perspective as well. Write down all your observations.
Educate yourself. As you learn more about retirement communities and senior care options such as assisted living, you’ll have a better understanding of what will fit best. Admitting just how much you need isn’t easy, and you may find yourself downplaying things. But be as objective as you can. You and your family may have concerns about how communities handle emergencies and health issues such as outbreaks of flu or COVID-19. Most community websites have information about their safety protocols, and you can always call and ask.
Learn how important their living situation is for seniors. Where you live influences how well you live as you grow older — meaning location and environment have an effect on everything from physical safety to mental health to longevity. The more you learn about this, the better prepared you’ll be.
Exploring the options and learning more about successful aging can give you the confidence and credibility you need to begin this conversation
AARP suggests asking this list of questions related to one's current living arrangement:
Is your current living environment still conducive to your health and wellness?
How well can you manage the stairs? Would you prefer living in a one-level home?
Are there any safety hazards in your home?
Are you comfortable living on your own, or do you find you feel unsafe or lonely?
Are there any improvements we can make to ensure a safer living environment?
Have you ever thought of moving elsewhere?
The source also recommends asking these questions in regard to your aging parent's activities and mobility:
Do you need help with chores around the house, such as cleaning, cooking and keeping the yard tidy?
Has your eyesight ever inhibited you from carrying out your daily activities?
How is your hearing?
Do you ever have trouble driving?
If you aren't driving yourself, do you have reliable transportation for getting to appointments, social activities and the grocery store?
Care & Wellness Considerations
In regard to your aging parent's health,Real Simple magazine suggests asking this list of questions:
Should the need arise, may I have permission to speak with your doctor in case we have questions or concerns about your medical treatment?
Based on your health, has your doctor made any suggestions about receiving more care or support?
Do you have any advanced care planning documents? If so, where do you keep them? Who do you mind sharing them with?
Have you created a will or trust, and assigned someone as your Power of Attorney?