A Complete Guide to Lifestyle Management for Seniors
A lack of regular exercise and physical activity paired with a poor diet plan may contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and many other medical conditions. Studies indicate that seniors who have a healthy lifestyle experience fewer years of being ill and enjoy longer lives. Whether you choose to stay at an independent living facility or your home, a healthy lifestyle is essential to enjoy your life after retirement. There are many ways to improve your health into old age, including a nutritious diet, proper sleep schedule, regular exercise, and more. Check out this guide to learn how to manage your lifestyle in the best way possible.
Changes that Occur with Aging
Acknowledging the changes that our body goes through with age is essential to understand the value of a healthy lifestyle as seniors. These life changes can be emotional, physical, or cognitive. When you are aware of them, you can be better prepared to tackle them.
- Emotionally, we struggle with the end of our professional careers and the loss of loved ones and independence.
- Physically, our bodies won’t be as agile as when we were younger.
- Cognitively, we may experience a decline in our ability to remember things or think quickly.
3 Things to Manage Your Lifestyle in Senior Years
Protein deficiencies can cause infections, fragile skin, weakness, and longer healing times. It is vital to consume higher amounts of protein in your senior years to make up for the general loss of protein from internal organs and muscles. However, if you have some medical conditions such as liver or kidney disease, you should limit your protein intake and follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.
Vitamins & Minerals
Seniors have different mineral and vitamin requirements than younger people. This is why you should know how much to include in your diet to avoid any deficiency. After consulting your doctor, you may also consider adding vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure you’re taking the required level.
Most of our energy comes from digesting carbs. Almost 50% to 60% of the daily calories should be comprised of complex carbohydrates such as cereals, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Fats are also necessary for you to function. They serve as a source of energy and help insulate and protect your body. However, only unsaturated fats are considered good for your health. The dietary guidelines set by professionals suggest that seniors should have around 10% of their daily calories from unsaturated fats.
Our body tends to lose some of its ability to regulate fluid levels with age. This is why you may not feel thirsty. However, this doesn’t always mean that your body has enough fluids. Not being able to tell when you are thirsty increases your risk of being dehydrated. Dehydration can cause constipation, reduced output of urine, low-grade fever, and dry gums. Thus, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough water every day.
Consider incorporating a routine of physical activity into your schedule. If you are suffering from undernutrition, gardening, swimming, walking, or cleaning the house can increase your appetite and metabolism and help strengthen your bones and muscles. You may also try light exercise just before mealtime. However, if your challenge is overnutrition, regular exercise with a tailored diet program can help you reduce calories in a healthy way.
When determining a healthy diet plan, you should consider including the following foods in your daily meals:
- Enriched cereals and whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Vegetables and fruits
- Meat substitutes or fish and lean meats
- Nuts and legumes
- Unsaturated oils and fats, high in omega-3 fatty acids
Here are some additional tips from the health experts in our independent living facility to help you make the most of your meals:
- Consider having 5-6 small meals in regular intervals every day instead of three large ones if you fill up quickly.
- Replace unhealthy snacks with bowls of nutritious ones, such as dried fruits or nuts.
- Try to reduce salt consumption in your daily meals.
- Use fresh vegetables or frozen pre-cut vegetables for quick meals.
- Include lemon juice, herbs and spices, and other seasonings to your foods to make them tastier.
- Try not to eat alone because mealtime can be a good opportunity for socialization and help you keep your mind fresh and active.
- Take time to eat leisurely and enjoy your food to make it a wholesome experience.
- Observe the effect of the medicines you take. If any medication decreases your appetite, consult your healthcare provider, and ask if you can take another medicine instead.
- If you are undernourished, look for healthy ways to get extra calories. You may snack on nutrient-rich foods, such as peanut butter, egg whites with scrambled eggs, milkshakes with protein powder and ice cream, cheese in soups or eggs, and more.
- If you are overnourished, try reducing the intake of calories every day and include regular exercise as part of your daily routine.
- Drink plenty of fluids regularly, aiming for at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Complications You Need to Be Aware of in Senior Years
If you are undernourished, the consequences may include:
- Weakness and fatigue, reducing your ability to work and mobility
- Depression, causing reduced appetite
- Weaker immune system because of which infections may take longer to heal
- Increased risk of anemia or low level of red blood cells
- Reduced muscle mass, causing weakness and more chances of falling
- Worsening cognitive health
Seniors with overnutrition may have the following complications:
- Issues with the heart, lungs, digestive system, and kidney
- Slow wound healing and weak skin
- Slower recovery from surgery
- Increased hospital stays
Enjoy a Worry-Free Life in Our Independent Living Facility
The Holiday Retirement has an excellent independent living facility and retirement community in Hartford. We have qualified staff to cater to your needs, thoughtfully designed infrastructure, essential amenities, and several services to ensure your health, happiness, and comfort.