February is National Senior Independence Month! It’s time to celebrate the seniors that continue to thrive despite their old age. Growing older does not mean an automatic loss of independence, safety, and enjoyment in life. In fact, it can be a time of discovery and excitement if seniors are committed to taking care of themselves. Staying healthy is crucial to staying independent. When your health starts to decline, activities of daily living such as cleaning, grooming, cooking, and even just walking around become arduous tasks. A senior who is unhealthy has a greater chance of being less safe in their home and losing independence.
Luckily, there are many steps a senior can take to stay independent! 85 percent of adults over the age of 45 say that they would much rather live in their own home rather than going to an assisted facility, so bringing awareness to this issue is crucial to satisfy the older population. By following some of these safety and health tips, the senior in your life can hopefully be independent for years to come!
- Add night lights to hallways, corners, and staircases to prevent nighttime falls.
- Make sure every room has at least one light with a strong bulb.
- Keep wires, rugs, and other clutter out of walkways, as these are tripping hazards.
- Remove excess furniture and make sure all areas are easily accessible.
- Install grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom and kitchen to help with balance and walking.
- Place all frequently used items in easily accessible locations.
- Install a stair lift or wheelchair ramp.
Stay Active to Keep Your Body Limber
- Practice flowing and stretching exercises like Tai Chi or yoga.
- Walk! Walk around the house, neighborhood, park, or even mall. Walk everywhere, if possible!
- Strengthen muscles and joints through mild strength training.
- Water aerobics are gentle on the joints and great cardiovascular training.
- A physical therapist can help tailor exercises specifically for your needs.
Focus on Emotional, Social, and Mental Health
- Learn a new skill, such as using a computer or cooking a five course meal.
- Stay in touch with family and friends in person or through email, phone, or social media.
- Get involved in the community by joining clubs and associations, especially those that do charity work.
- Embrace your artistic side by taking a community art class
- Talk about your feelings and don’t be afraid to express your opinions, fears, and dreams.
- Meditate frequently to clear your head and reinvigorate your mind.
- Keep organized by writing down reminders, making to-do lists, and keeping items in the same place.
Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible disorder from which many of our patients suffer. It causes memory loss, slow thinking, disorientation, and mood and behavior changes. While scientists don’t know exactly what causes it and don’t have a way to cure it, there are ways you can help protect yourself. Living a healthy life with a focus on brain health may be a way to stop the disease from progressing and improve your quality of life.
Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be hard, though. Simply changing the way you eat can have a huge influence on your life. All of these recipes are specifically designed with brain health in mind. Who knew being healthy could be so… tasty!
Black beans and quinoa are renowned for having wonderful health benefits. The beans contain vitamins that improve brain function. Additionally, the meal contains anthocyanins, which protect the brain, reduce blood pressure, and even lower your risk of getting diabetes! Sounds like it’s time to start snacking!
Everyone knows about the jaw-dropping power of omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t know, this polyunsaturated fat that is found in salmon is essential for increased memory in adults and decreased onset of mental decline in the elderly. Pair that with the delicious flavor of this ginger-infused salmon dish, and you should have absolutely no complaints.
Not to get on the fish train, but… it really is good for you. And don’t forget about the restorative properties of the artichoke. Dark leafy green vegetables have tons of iron, which is essential for activities like learning, memory, and attention. This would be a perfect appetizer for a summer party since it looks absolutely stunning when it is finished.
Beets are one of those things that you’re either a fan of or you hate. If you happen to like them, then this appetizer will make your tongue die from happiness. The beets are roasted for additional flavor and then pureed with goat cheese for a creamy and delectable paste that is easily spread on your choice of baguette.
Potatoes have a bad reputation, usually because they are served fried (which means they are covered in fat) or boiled (which drains out all of the vitamins). Roasting potatoes, however, allows them to keep their high dose of nutrients! When paired with the sweet sesame honey glaze, your mouth will feel like it has gone to heaven and your brain will be thanking you for it.
Eggs are a power food packed with protein, which is good for keeping your brain in working order. It’s also filled with a plethora of veggies that all combine to pack a powerful punch of nutrients to your body. This scrambled egg combo makes a much better breakfast than sugary cereals or a carb-loaded bagel.
Nothing’s better than a good sandwich. This delectable dish makes a perfect lunchtime substitute for fast food. It combines tuna, spinach pesto yogurt, raisins, pistachios, and lemon juice into one brain-healthy recipe. These ingredients are packed with the nutrients that help keep your memory sound and your cognition clear.