How Older People Can Look After Themselves in 2021
With January being the month for resolutions, and the world buzzing about self-care, the team at Lifton Home Lifts have taken the opportunity to look at small changes older people can make to their lifestyle to improve their health and wellbeing through the winter months for a happy and wholesome 2021.
Eat the rainbow
As winter draws in, it can be tempting to reach more for the starchy, sugary and fatty comfort foods. Although tasty, an excess of these foods can lead to a slump in energy which can also affect mood. Dieticians suggest widening the variety of foods we eat to maintain a good balance of nutrients. As a general rule eating fruit and vegetables in as many colours of the rainbow as you can can help add variation not only to the nutrients we eat, but also our taste buds, and help create a more vibrant plate too.
It is a good idea to seek professional advice on any extra vitamins you might need such as vitamin D or B12, as it is simple to boost these with a daily supplement if needed.
Stay safe in the home
Most accidents occur in the home. To avoid getting hurt and to keep yourself safe, resolve to do a quick safety check of the home, and put right any potential hazards. Pay particular attention to the kitchen where cooking accidents are common, the bathroom where it is easy to slip on wet surfaces, and the stairs which can be a trip hazard. There are many simple gadgets that are quick and easy to install, such as discreet grab rails and non-slip stickers, as well as ingenious additions to the home such as state-of-the-art home lifts. Prioritising getting the house in order and ensuring we stay fit and well moving around your own home is of paramount importance right now.
Sleep is good for us for many reasons. We need sleep to process thoughts, repair cells, keep our memories working well and for good metabolism. As we grow older sleep patterns change naturally and many people find it harder to drift off, or to stay asleep through the night. Sleep specialists recommend having a good sleep routine including a consistent bed time, limiting screens in the evening, and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake. It is often recommended to enjoy relaxing activities before bed, such as a warm bath or
a good book. By looking after our sleep patterns, we look after our whole body and mind.
In dark and cold winter months it can be tempting to shy away from getting out of doors for exercise. But going for a walk each day brings lots of health benefits, both physical and emotional. Raising the heart rate exercise burns calories, exercises the heart and lungs and keeps muscles strong. Being in even limited daylight will give some vitamin D, and fresh air can help to lift the mood.
If you can walk or run somewhere in nature all the better, as connecting with green spaces is great for lessening stress and anxiety. Building a daily routine around some form of exercise can help give a focus to the day, and can help set the circadian rhythm which means better sleep at night too.
One of the best ways to foster good mental health is through maintaining and building friendships and relationships with others. Having good friendships is known to increase our sense of belonging, build our self-confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. Focus on those who bring out the best in you, and ways you enjoy communicating, whether it is over the phone, by email, or writing a good old-fashioned letter. Facetime calls using the internet are now easier than ever, and can be a great way to have a coffee morning or drinks evening from the comfort of your own home. If you want to connect with new people there are online interest groups to join, such as art clubs and book groups who meet via live stream chat, or face-to-face virtually. However, you meet or converse, and whatever the shared interest, it is the connections that really make the difference.