This article was originally published as a sponsor story in The Tennessean under the name 4 practical tips for staying healthy and aging happily in the new year by Chaim Ezra Garrison. You can view the original article here:
Happy 2022! The new year has arrived, and with it comes a slew of possibilities for changing and improving your life in brand new ways. If you are an older adult, this can be an exciting process, but it can also feel intimidating, especially given the lifestyle and accessibility changes that often accompany aging.
Blakeford Senior Life, Nashville’s top provider of personalized, enriching senior care, understands both the beauty and complexity of aging and how to do so healthily. Just in time for the new year, Blakeford has offered a few tips for aging in ways that not only improve your health but also help you enjoy life in a refreshed and renewed way. LiveWell By Blakeford, Nashville’s only continuing care at home (CCaH) program, is one way for healthy, independent adults to fulfill these goals while remaining in their homes and communities as they age. LiveWell By Blakeford provides complete wellness and preventative services in the comfort of home while giving access to the amenities of senior living communities, including fitness programs and group activities.
Exercise – and keep it simple
If you ask someone about their New Year’s resolutions, they’ll probably tell you that they aim to work out more. But with so many options out there — from expensive gym memberships to complicated workout and nutrition plans — the simple act of moving your body can seem daunting, often leading people to abandon their resolution altogether.
However, exercise doesn’t have to be overly strenuous and arduous; it can be rejuvenating and enjoyable, especially when you start slow and stick to the basics. Exercise is a great reason to get out of the house to enjoy some movement. Take a walk in your neighborhood with friends or join a program like LiveWell By Blakeford to access a senior-focused fitness center with classes, a gym, and a pool for swimming laps.
Cater to your mental and emotional health
While taking care of your body is crucial, keeping your mind stimulated and your emotions grounded and nurtured is equally important. You can help potentially stave off memory impairment and cognitive decline with simple dietary changes, such as reducing your sugar intake, consuming coffee or green tea in moderation, eliminating or reducing fast food from your diet, and eating dark chocolate in place of other sweets. Incorporating meditation for even just a few minutes a day can also help you stay focused, reduce stress, and help you enjoy life in the moment.
Further, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can hinder your focus, speech, memory, decision-making, and much more. If you feel you’re not getting enough sleep, whether it’s due to anxiety or other physiological reasons, consult your doctor to create a health plan perfect for you.
Socialize more often
Older adults can often feel lonely or isolated as they age, especially if their transportation options are limited. Therefore, it’s vital to seek out communities and activity centers geared toward your age group, most of which offer transportation services to and from their facilities. LiveWell By Blakeford provides you with a community of other adults aging at home and residents of Blakeford’s independent living apartments, with regular activities to connect with others, including card games and holiday celebrations.
If you want company but don’t feel up to leaving your home, don’t be afraid to reach out to those closest to you, whether family or close friends, and have them over for a meal or simply to talk and enjoy time together. Little acts like this can go a long way in staving off feelings of isolation.
Develop your care network
In the spirit of staying connected, it’s essential to develop a care network or a group of professionals and trusted individuals aware of your care needs, health, and daily routine. In addition to healthcare and wellness professionals, it’s also recommended to include home maintenance pros and loved ones (family, friends, neighbors, and more) in your network of trusted individuals with whom you can openly express your needs, including your required care level, specific assistance requests, organization needs, and more.
LiveWell By Blakeford offers care coordinators who assist you in managing your care network and serve as personal liaisons between health and wellness professionals and your loved ones. Care coordinators offer peace of mind and help you age in healthy and fulfilling ways.