Lots of people in the Menlo Park and Bay Area never really give a thought to seniors or the elderly when it comes to New Year's resolutions. Most of us think about losing weight, quitting smoking, and other challenges we'd like to overcome - but what about seniors? They should have an opportunity to start fresh, just like those of us who haven't reached our "golden years" just yet. Here are a few resolutions those who are getting up there in years may want to give some thought to.
Relax and take a day off. Many seniors put forth great effort to engage socially, going to reading groups, exercise classes, and other social gatherings. If you're a "social butterfly," give yourself a little time off after the hectic holidays. Relax in the morning knowing you have nowhere you have to be, or visit a friend or loved one who isn't able to be as active as you are. It's time to unwind!
Put effort into preventing falls. Millions of seniors fall each year according the CDC; some of these falls result in hip fractures, head injuries, and even serious medical issues that may be ongoing. Whether it's putting a non-slip mat in the tub along with grab bars, clearing a path through the living room to the bedroom, or using a walker, do everything you can possibly think of to prevent a fall.
Focus on a healthier diet. Eating the right foods can lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, even heart and other health issues. As you grow older, eating foods packed with calcium, vitamins, and minerals becomes even more important to good health and a decreased risk of serious health issues. Introduce more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats into your diet, and try to reduce your intake of saturated fats or those that tend to contribute to high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Give your brain some exercise. Seniors should engage in activities that stimulate the brain in order to reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's. Simply working a crossword puzzle each day, playing cards with friends, or even learning how to use a computer keeps your brain active.
Connect with family/friends you haven't spoken with in a while. We all have friends or family members who live too far away to visit in person regularly. Social media makes it easy to communicate, or just pick up the phone and call someone you haven't connected with in a while so you can update each other on what's been going on.
Even seniors should make New Year's resolutions, as change and the challenge of trying something new is good for all of us!
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