Your Wellness Resolutions for 2019

Published: December 5, 2018

Your Wellness Resolutions for 2019

New Year’s resolutions are one of the best parts of the new year—making a commitment to perhaps better yourself in the coming year. But, if you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration to get you started, we’ve got tips for seniors and caregivers alike!

Exercise a little more.

We know that physical activity is a top factor for healthy aging. Resolve to be more active, even in small ways. Exercise doesn’t have to be in one solid block; fifteen minutes here and there can be just as beneficial! If you think you’ll have a hard time with it, consider grabbing a buddy to workout with.

For seniors: Geriatric researchers tell us that everyone can benefit from increased activity. Talk to your healthcare provider about an exercise program that is appropriate for your health condition. Look into senior fitness classes, or perhaps a set of home exercises that includes aerobic, flexibility and strengthening activities. You can also find great videos online!

For caregivers:  Busy family caregivers find that exercise drops to the bottom of their to-do list—or off the list entirely. Exercise is a great way to overcome stress and improve overall health and caring for a loved one can really wear you out. If you are having trouble scheduling a workout, it might be time to ask other family members and friends to help.

Get out there and socialize!

For seniors: Older adults can be at greater risk of isolation and loneliness. Sensory and mobility impairment, giving up the car keys, and losing friends who have passed away or moved all make socializing more of a challenge—but it’s worth the effort to find opportunities to be around other people. So, try arranging a get-together with your friends, or joining a club to make some new ones! There are lots of places in Yakima to meet new people.

For caregivers:  Many caregivers also experience loneliness. Even as they spend a lot of time in the company of their loved one, they miss socializing with friends. Their busy schedule, fatigue—and in some cases, fair-weather friends who stop calling—can leave them feeling isolated and depressed. Resolve to make a lunch date with old friends and try to make some new ones. Have you tried a support group? Sharing your thoughts and suggestions with others is a great stress-buster, and you’ll meet lots of people who may share a similar situation. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, can also be a good way to stay in touch.

Rethink your alcohol use.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has named alcohol abuse by people over 65 as one of the fastest-growing health problems in the U.S.

For seniors: While there may be some minor health benefits from consuming a small or moderate amount of alcohol, drinking too much negates those benefits and worsens many health conditions. It damages the liver and can lead to malnutrition and fall injuries. And when seniors mix alcohol with prescription drugs, the combination can be deadly.

For caregivers:  If you are worried about a loved one’s drinking, encourage him or her to talk to their healthcare provider about counseling or a support group that is geared toward the needs of older adults—just remember that caring for a person with a substance abuse problem can quickly become your problem. Your loved one may be defensive or in denial and may try to conceal the problem. If the conversation isn’t going well, talk to a counselor or specialist. Join a support group for families of people with alcohol dependency. And take care of yourself—if you notice your own drinking habits are getting a little intense, now is a good time to get help.