As the New Year approaches, we often make New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions can help us to improve in our personal lives and to help us have a good year. If you are ageing or care for an elderly person, here are some resolutions you can make to improve those areas of your life.
Your health is incredibly important to your life not just when you are ageing but at all stages. It is essential to have good physical health and mental health. Good physical health can be achieved by getting regular exercise at least 30 minutes per day. This could include playing a team sport with your friends or simply going on a lovely walk in the great outdoors. Exercise keeps you fit and healthy and doing any physical activity is better than doing none. Do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week. Exercise can benefit you by:
- · reducing your risk of a heart attack
- · managing your weight better
- · having a lower blood cholesterol level
- · lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- · having lower blood pressure
- · having stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of developing osteoporosis
- · lowering your risk of falls
- · recovering better from periods of hospitalisation or bed rest
- · feeling better – with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.
Exercise can also help you with your mental health. A number of studies have found that exercise helps depression. There are many views as to how exercise helps people with depression:
- · Exercise may block negative thoughts or distract you from daily worries.
- · Exercising with others provides an opportunity for increased social contact.
- · Increased fitness may lift your mood and improve your sleep patterns.
- · Exercise may also change levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones.
Another very important part of your health is eating. To maintain a healthy body, you must eat well and make sure your diet is well balanced:
- · Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five groups every day:
- · Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- · Fruit
- · Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
- · Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
- · Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)
- · And drink plenty of water.
A good New Year’s resolution is to improve or continue socialising. People with more social support tend to live longer than those who are more isolated, and this is true even after accounting for your overall level of health.
Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults. This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer.
People who socialise enjoy better mental health. Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression. Research has shown that one sure way of improving your mood is to work on building social connections.
You may even lower your risk of dementia. More recently, there has been accumulating evidence that socializing is good for your brain health. People who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills. And, in the long run, people with active social lives are less likely to develop dementia than those who are more socially isolated.
Here are some ways to boost your social engagement.
- · Use Skype or Facetime to catch up with family and friends from a distance.
- · Walk through your neighbourhood and make a point of stopping to say hello to people you meet.
- · Babysit your grandkids or help them with homework.
- · Sign up for a class at your local recreation centre, library, or university.
- · Attend religious services at your church, synagogue, or temple.
- · Sing in a choir or play music in a group.
- · Volunteer at your favourite charity organization.
- · Visit a museum with a friend and chat about what you see.
- · Participate in a neighbourhood or community group.
- · Play a group sport like lawn bowling, golf, or croquet.
- · Have a friend or family member over for coffee or tea.
- · Play cards or board games with others.
- · Exercise with a friend by walking, swimming, or going to the gym together.
Care and Carer respite
Sometimes caring for your loved one can just get too much. It is a very demanding which is why it is very important to provide some respite to carers. If you require carer respite, our services at Right at Home Australia can provide that to you and your loved one.
The New Year can provide us all with new chances to better ourselves and is a great time to improve your health.
If you need help with providing socialisation and companion care for your loved one, Right at Home though our many offices in Australia provides services to assist in this area such as our companion care services.
Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors and adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones, and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no admin or subscription fees Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget.
Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one.
To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website