We all know what we need to change in our lives to be healthier. How do we implement them so we have these habits in later life? It all starts somewhere, and identifying four seemingly simple (not so) secret tips to healthy aging is a good start. At any age.
It’s no secret – Mobile Medical Services have been trailblazers in keeping seniors healthier at home. Mobile Medical Services, including primary care, are advocates of healthy behaviors that increase longevity in the home. With the support of mobile primary care and other medical services, seniors everywhere can live at home longer, safer, and happier than ever before.
4 Secrets to Staying Healthy at Home
Have a purpose.
1. You don’t need a gym membership to move more.
Just move. If you can get up and walk, doing so throughout the day increases stamina and maintains muscles. Even just standing up from a chair several times, a couple of times a day, can be a big boost for your muscles and your mood.
There is no need to count steps or miles. Walking in your garden, a park, through your house, or even to the next room can help keep your legs and body strong. Even your bones benefit from 30-minute walks every day. If you aren’t sure what exercise and how much is right for you, ask your mobile primary care provider. Together you can come up with a plan and track your progress.
Healthy Benefits of Walking
Maintain a healthy weight
Walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week is an easy way to make a big difference to your overall health. Even if you have limited stamina now, walking helps to prevent or manage conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, so keep moving as much as you can. Poor balance or afraid of falling? Talk to your provider about mobile medical services, such as Occupational Therapy, that can help you gain confidence and stay strong.
2. Establish a healthy diet that works for you.
There are food guidelines that are recommended for healthier eating. For seniors living at home, it can be difficult to make good choices without help from family and friends. Microwaving meals with excessive amounts of salt and even skipping meals become the norm.
Eating in a healthy way is not only a daily commitment to eating the right foods, but a plan to access healthier foods so they are on hand for meals. As mobility changes and trips to the grocery store become more challenging, how will healthy foods be delivered to the home? A meal preparation service or a private duty caregiver can help with shopping, preparing, and getting healthy meals to the table every day.
Healthy Food Choices
Snack on nuts
We learned in the first section that moving is very important to longevity. Consider planting a garden and using that activity for both movement and healthy eating. Even those with limited mobility can benefit from getting their hands in the dirt and growing vegetables in a raised planter. Make healthy food choices one little homegrown tomato at a time.
3. Get by with a little help from your friends.
Social opportunities with friend groups and family members and incidental conversations with strangers in the park all inspire healthy living. Staying social and engaging with others is key to emotional and cognitive health. Human beings are social animals – we thrive in environments where we can be with other people and share common interests.
As we age, it becomes more of a challenge to do some of the activities we are used to. If mobility is an issue and going long distances requires a wheelchair, work with your Mobile Medical Provider on a plan for strengthening exercises. Keep your upper and lower body strong so you can transfer in and out of your chair, into a car to get to church or a golf cart to ride along on the links for the afternoon. Staying mobile helps us stay social.
4. Get up every day with a purpose.
For as long as seniors can remember, they had a purpose. Maybe they helped on a farm growing up, served their country, and after years of marriage, raising children, and working, they find themselves a bit adrift in retirement. Choosing to find a purpose in every day is as vital to healthy living as exercise and the right food.
Volunteerism is high on the list of seniors. More than one in five older adults volunteer. Not only does it help with socialization opportunities and physical activity, but it also improves the emotional outlook of a population at risk of feeling that their usefulness has ended. Perhaps a lifetime in finance could be useful to the administrative offices of a non-profit, or cooking skills can be put to work in the local soup kitchen. Usefulness thrives in opportunity.
Meals on Wheels
Read to pets at a shelter
Organize shelves at a local food pantry
Contentedness among older people is often measured by usefulness to their own family. Not being a burden is a common thread of conversation. Utilizing the skill, knowledge, and experience of seniors within our own homes – helping grandchildren with homework, folding clothes or towels, walking the dog, or watching the hamster during the day – is a beautiful way to blend the expectations and the reality of growing old.
These four secrets to healthy living can be attained, and maintained, even in old age. With the help of a mobile medical primary care provider and a supportive family, aging in place at home can be a reality for more seniors. Start by talking to your primary care provider about a plan to stay healthy and watch how much progress you make!
Their ability to coordinate care and encourage healthy habits to stay home longer are two reasons Mobile Medical Services is a Resource We Love! Learn more about the services that can come to your home and keep you healthy in the Resources Section of our Blog.