Self-care is enormously important for seniors; the older we get, the more attention our bodies and minds need to function at their best. However, effective self-care often feels unattainable. Between busy schedules and fixed incomes, seniors are often limited in what self-care options are available to them. That said, there are plenty of simple safe-care tips seniors can use that fit easily into everyday life without breaking the budget.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Poor sleep quality can affect people of all ages, but they can be particularly difficult as you get older. Sleep patterns naturally change with age, and many seniors find they have more difficulty falling and staying asleep than they did years before. Fortunately, small changes can make a world of difference for your sleep quality.
First, take a look at what lifestyle choices might be getting in the way of good sleep hygiene. Eating late at night and watching TV in bed are two common things that make falling and staying asleep much harder. It’s also worth checking in with your doctor to rule out any medical causes of poor sleep, such as GERD or sleep apnea.
Daily Workout Routine
Exercise can get trickier with age, but it also gets much more important. Coordination, strength, flexibility, and balance are invaluable to seniors. Trip and fall accidents are one of the most dangerous risks seniors face. By building up these skills, you decrease your likelihood of falling and improve your odds of catching yourself safely if you do. Moreover, exercise improves all aspects of physical health and has a positive impact on lifespan and quality.
You can exercise on your own at home, but working out with a group might be a better option. Group workout classes give you an opportunity to meet new people who share your goals, making you more likely to stick to them. They also provide instruction so you know you’re doing the workout in the safest, most effective way.
If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to use SilverSneakers. The SilverSneakers Medicare program provides access to 13,000 participating fitness across the US, many of which offer group classes and access to exercise equipment.
Healthy Sweet Treats
Excess sugar is one of the leading causes of health problems in the US. If you have a sweet tooth, however, cutting back on sugary snacks can be a daunting task. So, consider healthier sweet alternatives to satisfy cravings without taking in too much sugar. For example, you can use baking substitutes to make lower-sugar treats, such as black-bean brownies. You can swap novelty ice-cream for simple DIY banana ice cream, or trade out pudding and instead make a dessert fruit salad. Focus on sweet treats that favor natural sweetness over added sugar.
Many seniors find that most of their downtime is spent with other people. Between kids, grandkids, family members, and friends, it’s often hard to find some time that’s just for you. However, it’s important to take opportunities to recharge and connect with yourself.
Schedule a specific time each day — or if your schedule won’t allow for that, each week — to enjoy an hour or so to yourself. You can spend this time reading a favorite novel, listening to music, or enjoying the sights and sounds of the outdoors. There’s no wrong way to spend this time — simply find something you enjoy and make a conscious effort to make time for it.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to cost a ton of money, and even little changes can make a big impact on your overall wellness. Consider incorporating a few of these changes into your schedule and see for yourself what a difference they can make.