Heart Healthy Tips for Seniors

Tags

, ,

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in senior citizens. However, even with a family history of heart disease, most steps to keeping your heart healthy are under your control.

Maintain a healthy weight with diet and exercise. A balanced diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Check with your doctor if you need to lose weight, but avoid rigid, restrictive diets. Balance is the key.

Start the day with a bowl of oatmeal and mix in your own fruit. Blueberries and strawberries have been shown to be beneficial in lowering the risk of a heart attack and can be used fresh or thawed from frozen. If you use frozen berries, make sure they have no added sugar. Eggs are a filling and healthy breakfast. If you have high cholesterol limit your consumption of eggs to four a week or try egg whites or an egg substitute. Combine a boiled egg with yogurt and an orange for a fast, tasty breakfast.

For lunch and dinner, make half of your plate colorful vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, and carrots. Substitute spinach for the lettuce in a salad or wrap. Use hummus as a spread. Hummus, made from chickpeas, olive oil and garlic, is high in protein, fiber and calcium and is a flavorful and healthier alternative to mayonnaise. The other half of your plate should contain whole grain pasta, bread or grains and lean proteins. Include two servings a week of an oily fish such as wild-caught salmon, farm raised trout or albacore tuna in your diet.

Limit your consumption of sodium. If you don’t already, make sure you read the labels on any processed food you eat. Canned soups and vegetables, tomato sauce, even bagels can contain a high amount of sodium. Homemade soup is easy to make, stores well and you can control the ingredients and flavorings.

If you’ve been sedentary, the easist way to get moving is to begin walking 5 minutes a day. Gradually work your way up to a 30 minute daily walk. The exercise is great for your heart and can help you deal better with stress. Activities such as gardening and raking are also easy ways to get in those 30 minutes of exercise.

Maintain regular sleep patterns. You may need less sleep than you did as a young adult, but you still need to sleep. Establishing and following a set routine as you prepare for bed will help your mind begin to relax. Eliminate as much ambient light as you can with shades and don’t let your pets sleep in the same room. If you are having trouble sleeping, consult with your doctor before taking over-the-counter sleep products as they may interfere with medications you are already taking.

All of these tips should help you feel less stressed which will help your heart. If you are having trouble dealing with anxiety, speak to your doctor. She may recommend counseling or other activities to help reduce your stress.

Finally, even the healthiest people can find themselves needing some outside help. For seniors, Home Helpers can assist you with a flexible plan to help you while you recuperate, whether you need 24/7 care, companion care, or personal care. To find out more about our services go to our website:http://www.cincinnatinewporthomecare.com

Easy Hobbies for Seniors at Home

Tags

, ,

Often retiring from a long life of work, it can be hard for many seniors to adjust to their new lifestyle. Like any drastic change, it can take time to acclimate to this new lifestyle. For those who are looking for a great and fun activity to fill their free time, a hobby one is passionate about is an ideal choice. Having a great hobby can be a great way to spend time and increase both mental and physical health. There are many different hobbies that can be beneficial; for a few great hobby ideas, be sure to check out these top options.

Painting

While many consider painting to be difficult for those without prior experience, with the amount of free time available to most seniors, painting or drawing is an ideal choice as it gives one a way to improve as well as express their creativity and enjoy free time all at once. For those with friends who have similar interests, it can be a great idea to throw painting parties in order to socialize and enjoy time together. Additionally, with painting, one has can great gifts to give loved ones from painted mugs to full-scale canvas paintings.

Reading

As getting older can carry extra risks for those who aren’t frequently exercising their brain and breaking old patterns, reading can be a great way to spend free time. Additionally, this is an especially great activity for those who have conditions that leave them unable to perform complex physical activities. Because of the vast variety of books and subjects, it can be easy to find a genre that fits the tastes of each individual. For those who are more social, book clubs can be a great choice and can provide a great time.

Gardening

For those who want to have an active hobby that can provide both health benefits and is enjoyable, gardening is perfect. With plant care, one has the ability to work have fun both indoors and outdoors. From vines to trees, there are limitless options to spice up a household.

Card Games & Board Games

Some of the most popular hobbies among senior citizens are card and board games. These activities can provide a great way to socialize with friends, improve mental functioning and because they are often skill-based, they can be a great way to improve oneself. Additionally, there are a large variety of board games and card games on can choose from, such as: poker, chess, checkers, backgammon, scrabble and many more. Some studies have even shown that such games can reduce stress levels and improve self-esteem in those who play them regularly.

Yoga

For those who are capable of stretching and are looking to improve their health, yoga is a fantastic choice. Yoga has a massive amount of physical and mental health benefits that can have a dramatic positive impact on the life of any senior. A variety of studies have shown that regular yoga practice can have dramatic effects in the following areas: reduced stress levels and cortisol production, reduced blood pressure, improved cardiovascular functioning, increased circulation, reduced chance of osteoporosis, improved flexibility, weight loss, and lowered levels of bad cholesterol. With all of these dramatic health benefits, every senior citizen who is capable of this physical activity should give yoga a chance.

Because of the levels of increased free time among seniors, picking an enjoyable hobby can be a great way to spend time and improve physical and mental health. While the hobbies listed above are some of the most common and effective, don’t limit the range of choices available to just these options.

Five Ways Seniors Can Stay Active

Tags

, ,

Over time, it can become increasingly difficult for senior citizens to stay physically active. Pain in the joints, a bad back, and numerous other common health ailments can make physical activity uncomfortable or even downright painful for many seniors. At the same time, however, it is important for seniors to get regular exercise in order to live a healthy and happy life. What many do not realize is that staying active does not have to be strenuous; there are plenty of low-impact activities that can get the blood pumping and keep seniors active.

Swimming

Perhaps one of the best activities for seniors is simply going for a swim. After all, swimming is very low impact on the body’s joints, which is important for those who experience pain when running, jogging, or walking. Furthermore, one’s range of motion is much larger while in water, making it possible for seniors to stretch and work out muscles that they otherwise might not be able to. For added health benefits, seniors can even swim in a salt water pool or body of water.

Yoga

Yoga can be a very relaxing activity that not only helps the body, but soothes the mind as well. There are a number of beginner’s yoga positions that are suitable for most seniors, such as basic stretches and even breathing exercises. Seniors partaking in yoga should just be sure to have the proper attire to do so comfortably: a pair of yoga pants, a snug top, and a comfortable pair of socks and shoes will suffice. For added comfort, a yoga mat should be used as well.

Dancing

Who says exercising needs to be boring? Dancing is one of the best ways to stay active. Not to mention, it can be a great deal of fun! Seniors should consider looking into local senior citizen dance classes, as this can be a wonderful way to have fun, stay active, and possibly even meet some new people in the process. For those who are a little more shy when it comes to their dancing, there is always the option of dancing to one’s favorite music in the privacy of one’s own home. Seniors may even choose to dance with a friend or spouse!

Lift Weights

While having a six pack or bulging arm muscles may no longer be desirable at this age, it is still important to have muscle mass. This will help a senior to maintain strength and burn calories in the process. Weight training should be kept to a minimum to ensure that injury does not occur. Furthermore, seniors should allow their muscles at least two days to heal after weight training, so this type of exercise should typically not be performed more than three times per week.

Going for a Walk

Whether it be on a treadmill or through the local park on a beautiful day, walking is a low-impact form of exercise that many seniors enjoy. To make things even more interesting, seniors may consider going for a daily walk with a friend, family member, or spouse. This helps to keep one motivated and accountable for staying physically active while also giving him or her somebody to talk to while exercising.

Overall, there are numerous ways in which senior citizens can stay active and healthy. Whether it be walking, swimming, lifting weights, yoga, or dancing, the important thing is that one is able to get some exercise and have fun in the process.

Four Health Tips For Seniors To Help Maintain Strong Physical and Mental Health

Tags

, ,

Continuing to feel healthy and vital as you get older is not out of your reach. Staying mentally and physically active and making informed choices about sleeping and eating habits can have an enormous positive impact on your health. Even better, it isn’t difficult to do any of these things.

Maintaining balance and following a few well chosen yet simple routines can keep you feeling good for a very long time.

Following are four easy ways to achieve this as a senior:

Eat Healthy Foods – One of the inevitable changes of getting older is your body’s shifting reaction to food. Digestion, taste, smell all may undergo changes and may in turn affect which foods you can and cannot eat, but good nutrition is always a vital part of keeping your muscles, bones and heart healthy. Fruits, vegetables and grains should always be a part of your diet as a senior, and you should look for creative ways to make these foods colorful, palatable and fun. Also be mindful of foods that should be reduced or avoided in your diet – ingredients such as salt can have adverse effects on blood pressure if they are eaten excessively. Look for balance and practicality in your pursuit of good nutrition.

Exercise Regularly – Remaining physically active throughout life is one of the keys to vitality, longevity and good physical health. It’s important as a means of maintaining the physical independence that you need to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. Exercise can be done in many forms, and you need not exert yourself excessively in a gym to stay physically active. Taking a morning walk each day, working on a garden, swimming and doing yard work are just a few examples of alternate ways to keep your body active and healthy.

Get The Sleep You Need – The importance of getting enough sleep as you get older cannot be overestimated. Poor sleep habits often carry consequences, such as the insomnia and sleepiness during the day that are such common ailments among seniors. A good night’s sleep is directly connected to both physical and mental health, so it is important to understand the changes in sleep patterns that aging brings. Often, with age comes the need for more sleep, so it is probably a good idea to have a set time during the day to take a nap. You should also try to go to bed at the same each day, limit the use of caffeine and other chemicals that affect sleep, and follow routines of exercise and bedtime rituals that relieve stress and maximize comfort.

Keep Your Mind Limber – A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body to a senior’s continuing vitality. Many of the problems with memory and cognition associated with aging can be staved off by continually challenging your mind. Reading, playing puzzle-solving games, being creative and seeking new knowledge will all give your mind a nice workout. Beyond this, simply staying communicative with friends, family and members of the community keeps your mind active and engaged.

Home Helpers, a leading company in in-home care, can help you to develop and follow plans to maintain strong physical and mental health. With their assistance, you can stay independent and active in your own home.

Caregiving Tips for Preventing Falls

Tags

, , , ,

Senior Home CareAccording to the National Institutes of Health, more than one in three people over age 65 slips and falls each year. These falls cause more than 1.6 million older adults to go to emergency rooms in the U.S. with fractures and trauma. Fall-related injuries ultimately are the number one cause of injury deaths among the elderly. Preventing falls, then, is vital to caring for elderly loved ones.

How can you help your parents avoid falls? First, make sure that they aren’t on any medications that might cause dizziness or lack of balance. Many prescriptions can be changed for something with fewer side effects. Second, make sure that they wear rubber-soled shoes and not slick-soled or floppy slippers.

Then, take a careful inventory of the home and fall-proof it as much as possible by doing the following:

  • Eliminate or secure loose rugs, floorboards, and any rough or torn edge on carpeting. Check doorways for uneven flooring or carpeting and fix any problems.
  • Watch for slippery surfaces on hard floors. Use nonskid floor wax.
  • Check the bed to be sure it is not too high. It should be low enough that your parents’ feet are flat on the floor when they are sitting on the edge of the mattress.
  • Remove objects from the floor that might be a tripping hazard: plants, small tables, piles of newspapers, books, etc.
  • Remove loose wires or cords from any pathway.
  • Have good lighting. As eyesight diminishes, holes or steps are hard to distinguish from dark spots. Also make sure that light switches are easily accessible at the entrance to every room. Wireless switches are available that can be placed by the door to turn on room lamps if there are no wired switches near the doors.
  • Put hand rails in the bathtub or shower and next to the toilet. Install a raised toilet seat.
  • Place a slip-proof mat in the bathtub or shower. Add a shower chair if standing might be a problem.
  • Move stored items off high shelves that require climbing on ladders or step stools for access. Change light bulbs, dust the ceiling, and do other regular home maintenance so that your parent is not tempted to climb on a ladder.
  • Try to make it easy for your parent to live on a single floor and avoid walking up and down stairs. Add a bathroom or portable commode to the main living floor, if need be.
  • Make sure that stairs have good hand rails that are easy for arthritic hands to grasp, and add non-slip stair treads to both indoor and outdoor steps.
  • Outdoors, fix uneven surfaces and clean off snow and ice from sidewalks.

Falls may still happen, but these precautions can help to eliminate most hazards. The investment of time and money to take these steps will pay off in the long-term health and well-being of your parent.