Whether you are twenty-two or seventy-two years old, wellness should be something you strive for daily in your life. While important at any age, it can be particularly crucial for aging seniors. Establishing wellness is to be in good health both physically and emotionally. As we age, it is largely a normal life process to develop aches and pains or complications with our health. While some of these may not be avoidable, it may better position us to cope by maintaining a high and continuous level of wellness.
What Does Being Well Really Mean?
Wellness refers to the overall state of health for the individual. This generally includes the areas of:
- Physical Activity
- Skin Care
- Stress and Relaxation
- Mental Health
For some seniors, these areas of wellness may already be partially incorporated into the daily care they receive. Others may need to pursue wellness on a more individual basis. However, as wellness becomes part of a person’s daily routine, it should have a positive impact on their overall quality of life.
We rely on our bodies to do many things each day. In order to equip our bodies to handle the amount of stress we put on them, it is necessary to nourish them properly. Some of the main nutrients we should be including in our bodies each day can include:
In addition to consuming these essential daily nutrients, our intake of them should be well-balanced according to nutritional guidelines.
Beyond nourishing the body for basic wellness, some seniors may even have a specific dietary plan that is physician recommended to help them combat any temporary or ongoing conditions they may be experiencing.
Wellness experts can sit down with a senior and help them design a nutritional intake plan to meet their specific needs.
Making sure the body experiences physical activity can be a fantastic way to boost wellness in the form of both physical and mental health. Many seniors participate in some level of physical activity on a daily basis. In addition to boosting creativity and mood, exercise can also help:
- make the body stronger
- build a healthy immune system
- create a better sleep cycle
A team of wellness experts such as physicians, physical therapists, trainers, and even chiropractors can design a customized exercise program for a senior to ensure they are getting the benefits of regular physical activity.
It is not uncommon for adults to have some vitamin levels be in flux as they age. Regardless of if it is due to an internal shortage or too little consumption of vitamin filled foods like fruit and vegetables, it may require adding in supplements to help even out those levels for optimal health. Having balanced nutrition and vitamin levels can be key for achieving a higher quality of life.
Though skin care can be an afterthought for many seniors, it is the largest bodily organ and should be well cared for. Seniors should be diligent about taking care of skin that becomes dry from treatments such as chemotherapy or skin that looks discolored or develops new lesions that could be associated with skin cancer.
A wellness expert understands the common skin issues seniors frequently face and can help them learn to identify when the skin needs additional attention and how to best care for it.
Stress and Relaxation
Many do not consider stress to be an integral part of a senior’s life due to a more sedentary lifestyle, but in fact it affects millions of seniors each year. Aging adults can face many difficult problems such as:
- How will they get to health appointments if they can no longer drive?
- How will they be able to care for themselves if doing so is becoming too difficult?
- How will they afford additional care?
- How will a diagnosis change their life?
These are very real problems that seniors face and they have the ability to change the landscape of their life. These challenges are often in addition to worrying about the state of the world, family relationships, and issues related to specific medical conditions they are already dealing with.
Wellness practices can help alleviate stress by forcing seniors to be present in the moment and achieve relaxation. Some of the most popular stress relieving and relaxation techniques amongst aging adults can include:
- Light physical activity
Achieving and maintaining mental health has become a focus for our society today, and with good reason. Our minds are extremely powerful affecting how we think about ourselves, the world around us, and our health.
Some important aspects of mental health can include:
- Emotional Health
- Social Well Being
- Psychological Health
As doctors continue to explore and study the effects of mental health, they are finding that many disorders that are based on anxiety, mood, behavior, eating, and trauma are closely connected.
Wellness experts can work with seniors to address mental health or recall issues they are experiencing to help them live a happier and more fulfilled life.