At Aging Wisely, we’re all about helping people to be the best they can at any age. We help clients and their families navigate health challenges and care needs, while maintaining the vitally important things that make them unique. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of different ways people deal with aging, from the ways they plan (or don’t) to their attitude and actions. Today, we’ll share some of what we’ve learned about the keys to aging wisely and living well.
Exercise for the body and mind
Exercise can be very beneficial for those with arthritis and many other conditions. As the CDC shares, “scientific studies have shown that participation in moderate-intensity, low-impact physical activity improves pain, function, mood, and quality of life without worsening symptoms or disease severity” (more info., tips and guidelines).
A rapidly growing body of studies strongly suggests that exercise may reduce dementia risk and mitigate the effects of cognitive impairment (Ahlskog et. al). In addition to physical activity, exercising your brain can have protective effects for it. This can include specialized brain fitness solutions, but anything that keeps thinking, organizational or memory circuits active can be helpful so enjoy that crossword puzzle, engage in debate and discussions, play computer games and generally stay engaged!
If you need help with creating an exercise program that works for you and/or help staying motivated, we recommend our friends from At Home Fitness! People with arthritis who can most benefit from exercise often don’t participate due to pain, but the senior specialists from At Home Fitness can create a routine just for you and make exercise enjoyable.
Our EasyLiving companions are also here to help you keep your body and mind engaged, from driving you to activities to planning outings and activities at home. You might also be interested in some of their senior-friendly activity ideas.
Nutrition to keep your body strong
What you eat is even more important as you age. Metabolism slows and your body therefore needs to get greater nutrition from less calories to maintain a healthy weight. Nutrition is vital to healing and closely related to how well your body will deal with chronic health conditions or recuperate from illness.
Keep growing and giving
Many Aging Wisely clients tell us the secret to them aging wisely is their attitude (and especially, a sense of humor and perseverance). They continue to give back and grow as people, by volunteering, pursuing interests and staying close to family and friends.
Several studies have corroborated this. As shared by Heather Gilmour of Statistics Canada’s health analysis division about their study’s findings, “Social engagement — involvement in meaningful activities and maintaining close relationships — is a component of successful aging.”
Another important study about the role of volunteering for older adults found that the volunteers reported significant improvements in mental health, along with other socioemotional benefits such as a greater feeling of productivity, increased social activity, and an overall sense that life had improved.
When we do an Aging Wisely assessment, we consider how your physical situation might impact important areas like socialization and activity. For example, if it is time for a senior to stop driving, we help create a plan so the person can continue activities and avoid isolation.
When we suggest caregivers to assist at home or help a client transition to assisted living, we work with the client on aspects of socialization and engagement. For example, when one of our clients is moving to an assisted living facility we might find out ahead of time which facilities offer activities specifically matched with the client’s special interests and provide an orientation to the facility and introduction to activities staff and other residents after move-in. When we introduce caregivers, we make sure they know about the client as a person and can play a role in socialization and activities along with simply doing tasks.
Stay tuned for great resources to accomplish these aging wisely strategies!