Four Areas of Wellness Seniors Tend to Neglect
Although some older adults might think it’s too late to improve their overall health, it’s never too late to improve one’s health. There are many areas of wellness that are well within an older adult’s control. Each healthy decision they make matters, no matter their age.
August is National Wellness Month. It reminds us all to take a closer look at our own health and well-being and make necessary adjustments towards living a healthier lifestyle. If you’re an older adult who feels like your health and well-being could use a tune-up, know that you’re not alone. Here are four areas of wellness that seniors tend to neglect and tips to help you make them a priority once again.
Many seniors neglect caring for their skin. They forget that our skin is a significant organ that has many vital functions to perform. It’s our first line of defense against environmental hazards. It also reveals internal health conditions that older adults are more prone to, such as liver problems, kidney disease, or allergies. Start caring for skin by scheduling a skin screening with a dermatologist. Ask your doctor about key vitamins and minerals you may need to add to your diet to better care for your skin. Establish a skincare routine based on your skincare needs. Always apply sunscreen before heading outdoors to prevent damage from the sun.
Although not intentional, it is easy for seniors to neglect their dental care. Yet, caring for our teeth and gums is essential as we grow older. Our teeth become more susceptible to cavities as we age, as the protective enamel wears away. In addition to cavities, older adults are at risk for gum disease or may experience dry mouth due to the side effects of certain prescription medications. Regardless of what your teeth look like, if they’re natural, implants, or dentures, make dental care a priority. Schedule regular dental appointments. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Limit sugar intake to prevent cavities and drink plenty of water to help prevent dry mouth.
Another area of health that seniors often neglect is their muscular system. They may pursue regular cardio exercises, such as walking or biking, but skip strength training exercises. Yet, supporting the muscular system is very important for older adults. Keeping your muscles healthy ensures that older adults will continue to walk, lift objects, and participate in other activities they enjoy. Most importantly, a robust muscular system enables older adults to live more independently by reducing osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, and depression symptoms. No matter your age, it’s possible to build muscle. Talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise, then incorporate strength training exercises a few days weekly.
The last area of wellness that seniors often neglect is their support system. Many seniors do not realize how essential social connections are to their overall health and well-being. Without a strong support network, seniors are at risk for loneliness, isolation, and depression. As seniors age, their support system can slowly diminish. The loss of a spouse and/or close friends can abruptly end support an older adult relied on for decades. An older adult can lose the support of extended family when that family moves away. Even declining physical health can contribute to a loss of support as an older adult experiences limited mobility or can no longer drive to meet with friends and family. If your support system is dwindling, try to rebuild it. Look for support groups that can help you stay connected. Get plugged into a senior group at the local senior center, church, or library. Stay connected with friends and family. Be the first to call them or make plans to get together.
Visiting Angels Fond du Lac wants all seniors to make their health and well-being a priority. We are here to support seniors to remain safe and independent in the comfort of their own homes. Whether you want a companion to help you navigate the Wisconsin State Fair, or you need help with basic care tasks, we can help. Our comprehensive approach to senior home care means that your care plan will be tailored to meet your individual needs. We are here to help you get back on track with your health and wellness goals. Please get in touch with us today by calling 920-375-5555.