The most common advice given to older people for staying healthy is very similar to that given to people of all ages. Below we have compiled what we think are the most useful tips for older people for staying healthy at home:
- Try to stay physically active by taking some form of exercise three or four times per week. Any exercise is beneficial, for example swimming in your local pool (many pools have sessions aimed at older people), or join a walking group if there’s one near you.
- Get checked by your GP regularly: in particular your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Try to eat three regular meals a day. Eating a variety of foods is a key part of staying healthy at home – meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, cheese, milk, yogurt are all good.
- Eat five portions of fruit or vegetables per day.
- Be conscious of taking in enough fluid each day. As we get older our sense of thirst can reduce so sometimes we have to remind ourselves to drink. Water, juice, milk, and tea all help keep us hydrated. But coffee and alcohol have the opposite effect.
- Keep any eye on your weight. If you are losing weight this can be a sign that something may be wrong and you should visit your GP.
- Quit smoking if you’ve not done this already. Research shows there are health benefits to quitting smoking at any age – it’s never too late to quit.
- Make sure you get enough sleep. Physical changes can make it harder for older people to get adequate sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and that it’s not too warm. Go to bed when you feel tired but get up at the same time each day. Turn off the TV and computer at least one hour before going to bed. Wind down before bed by taking a bath or listening to soft music.
If you or a loved one need some help with common activites of daily living such as shopping or meal preparation, please feel free to call us at Heritage Homecare to find out how we can help.