Next up in our Aging Well Series is a topic many older adults easily overlook, as it’s not typically a top-of-mind area related to health and well-being. Yes, nutrition and exercise are critical to the equation, but just as important is a focus on play. Aging well is, in large part, about maximizing one’s quality of life—and what level of quality can there be if you’re not actually enjoying it?
Last month, we kicked off our Aging Well series to shed light on various aspects of optimizing one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being throughout their senior years. We began with a focus on good nutrition as an essential component of aging well, and we continue this month with nutrition’s go-to counterpart: exercise. Proper physical activity is vital to healthy aging, and it supports a wealth of benefits for seniors who incorporate this aspect into their daily lives.
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The term “aging well” can mean various things to various people, but it generally revolves around the idea of optimizing one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being throughout their senior years. Because a number of factors contribute to this overall sense of well-being, we’re going to dive into the topic more deeply by highlighting a different aspect each month. Today, we begin with the ever-important element of nutrition.
If you’ve felt the strain of a long, dark winter, you’re probably ready to embrace the promise of spring. March may roar in like a lion, but it goes out like a lamb—bringing us the renewed warmth of extended sunshine and a gentler forecast.
In many parts of the country, this winter has already proven to be a challenging one. With record cold temperatures and blizzards already on the books, the season of snow and ice has made its presence known. During times like these, it’s critical for seniors to be aware of the risks associated with hypothermia, and how to avoid these dangers. Here are some important insights about how hypothermia can endanger unsuspecting seniors and what you can do to prevent it.
It’s a new year, and many of us have begun to bring our resolutions to life. From new exercise routines and healthier eating habits to relationship-building efforts and work-life balance, there are fresh goals popping up everywhere. It’s a common time to rethink the areas of our lives where progress can be made and our realities can improve. Arguably, seniors are no exception to this phenomena, though we’re proposing a potentially unexpected aim for this particular group.
Often, the responsibility of caring for a senior involves navigating a precarious balancing act. From work and family life to the many activities associated with senior caregiving, there’s no shortage of priorities fighting for your attention. Then, here come the holidays—a time traditionally thought to bring joy and peace, but which usually makes the to-do list of a senior caregiver that much longer and more complex.
About one in every four seniors falls at least once a year, and the occurrence is even more common among those with memory and cognitive decline. With Alzheimer’s, for example, impairments in vision, perception, and balance increase as the disease progresses, making the risk of a fall that much more probable.
“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.” This powerful quote comes from the well-known book, Man’s Search for Meaning, by the revered Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. It touches on the human nature of finding purpose and meaning in one’s life—a challenge that can become more elusive as we age. In one of our recent articles, we discussed The Undeniable Link Between Having Purpose & Aging Well, which explored some of the fundamental reasons why it’s important for seniors to stay connected to their sense of purpose.
There’s no shortage of reasons why older adults have a difficult time maintaining a strong connection to their inner purpose. With career goals set squarely in the rearview mirror and an empty nest on the road ahead, it’s no surprise that many seniors begin to lose some sense of purpose in their day-to-day lives. But research has shown that seniors with a sense of purpose are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, disabilities, heart attacks, and strokes, and are more likely to live longer than people without this kind of underlying motivation.
Heart disease continues to rank as the number-one cause of death in the United States, impacting millions of Americans every year. And if you think you don’t have to be concerned about issues like cholesterol once you hit a certain age, think again. People age 65 and older are much more likely to suffer a heart attack, have a stroke, or develop heart disease and heart failure. Heart disease is also a major cause of disability, meaning it can limit one’s activity and significantly erode a senior’s quality of life.