The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is always an interesting one. Depending on your profession, it is either extremely busy or extremely slow. However, for many, the lull between Christmas festivities and New Year’s Eve parties presents just enough time to reflect on the past year.
It is in this time of reflection that many resolve to do things better in the upcoming year. In other words, a New Year’s Resolution is born. As you may already know, these resolutions often involve self-improvement or education, body weight, finances or relationships.
Per History.com, the practice of making New Year’s resolutions dates back at least 4000 years ago. The ancient Babylonians were the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year, and subsequently are said to be the first to make New Year’s resolution.
Today, making a New Year’s Resolution is still widely popular. In fact, statistics estimate that nearly 45% of all Americans will make at least one resolution for the upcoming year.
We believe that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and it is never too late to better yourself. Holding true to our belief, we thought it would be fitting to blog about six possible New Year’s Resolutions your elderly loved one could make for 2017.
The Dietary Resolution
By far, one of the most popular resolutions people make, is to eat healthier in the new year. For our elderly loved ones, this means eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. They should achieve this by eating at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies with a variety of deep colors.
Make sure you also choose fiber rich grains like whole-grain bread, brown rice and whole grain pasta, less fatty meat such as fish, tuna and salmon, and hearty sources of calcium and Vitamin D such as milk, yogurt and cheese. For the healthy fats, try olive and canola oils instead of butter.
The Exercise Resolution
The next most popular resolution people make is to exercise more. Staying active as we age is of the utmost importance. Being active and exercising helps keep bones strong, prevents falls, reduces stress and helps stave of depression.
It is important to note that you don’t need to spend hours in a gym to stay active. Many malls have “Mall Walker” programs in which people get together to walk laps around the mall. Another great activity to stay active and help reduce your risk of a fall is practicing Tai Chi or yoga.
The Organization Resolution
The start of a new year, as you are packing up the Christmas decorations and finding homes for all your Christmas presents, is a great time to get organized. We’re not just talking about deep cleaning your house. Rather, take some time in the new year to collect and organize important documents such as your insurance, will, financial and medical information. This is a tedious task but it is worth it.
There is a fun side to the organization resolution. To break up the monotony of going through documents, you could also go through and organize old family photos and home videos. This will help make sure your family heritage is preserved for generations to come.
The Healthy Resolution
Wait a second, didn’t you just go over this in the dietary resolution? Well, sort of. However, there is a lot more to being healthy than just eating better. In the New Year, your elderly loved one should resolve to make healthier all-around choices. This includes considering a multi-vitamin, consuming less alcohol, quitting smoking and seeing their health provider on a regular basis.
In addition to the basics we just mentioned, your elderly loved one should make it a goal to be open with you or a friend when they feel depressed or anxious. This will help fight an alarmingly increasing trend of elderly depression.
The Falls Prevention Resolution
As you may know, falls are a leading cause of accidental death for our elderly loved ones. However, taking the right precautionary steps can greatly decrease the likelihood of a fall. These steps include maintaining safe walking spaces, keeping hallways and stairs clutter-free, installing strategically placed grab bars and fall protection mats or flooring.
In addition to home modifications, your elderly loved one can taking physical steps to reduce their risk of a fall such as exercising more, practicing balance exercises and having regular checkups.
Finally, in the new year your elderly loved one should make it a goal to make at least one new friend and reconnect with old ones. Many seniors report that having friends helps increase the happiness in their life.
We hope this lists helps your elderly loved one set some healthy, attainable goals for 2017. As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help caring for or developing an extensive care plan, we can help. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.