Today is National Senior Citizens Day. Every year on August 21, the day is set aside to honor the older adults in our lives. President Ronald Regan proclaimed this holiday in 1988 to raise awareness of issues affecting seniors and their quality of life. Many senior citizens today continue in the workforce and remain active in their communities.
We love our seniors and want to take care of them. They deserve our respect and appreciation for all they have done for us. The following are some tips to help improve an older person’s quality of life.
Encourage Exercise and Physical Activity
Walking, dancing, swimming, ping pong – any activity that gets the body moving – can help older people feel better, mentally, and physically. Exercise is good for people of all ages. It can help:
- Control weight
- Strengthen muscles and bones
- Improve sleep
- Elevate mood
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Improve brain function
- Reduce the risk for certain cancers
- Reduce the risk of death
Provide Mental Stimulation
Mental activity is particularly important for seniors, as it helps them retain or improve their cognitive function and contributes to their overall wellbeing. Offer mentally challenging games, crossword puzzles, reading, writing, or other activities to help keep older adults sharp.
Help Them Stay Connected
After retirement age, some older people may become lonely and isolated. This can shorten their lifespans and increase their risk of dementia.
Help the seniors in your life stay connected with family, friends, and the communities in which they live. Include them in family celebrations or arrange special outings. Get them to senior centers or social functions. Suggest something you can do together as a hobby. Encourage older loved ones to volunteer in areas that interest them.
Make Sure They Are Eating Right
Good nutrition is essential for people of all ages. It helps us control our weight, gives us more energy, helps prevent certain health conditions, and improves our attitude toward life. Older people may need fewer calories to maintain their weight, but they may also need more protein and other nutrients.
A senior’s diet should include plenty of nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, seafood, lean meats, poultry, milk, and cheese. Like the rest of us, seniors should avoid empty-calorie foods, such as sodas, chips, candy, and baked goods most of the time.
Help Them Enroll In Medicare
The senior citizens in your life may be automatically enrolled in Medicare if they are receiving Social Security benefits. If not, help them enroll so they can take advantage of the healthcare benefits Medicare provides. Medicare can seem a bit confusing at first, with its different parts and options.
Some people choose a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurance company, for an HMO or PPO plan. Others decide to go with Original Medicare, with or without a Medigap plan for supplemental coverage. Our agent is happy to explain the pros and cons to help seniors choose the best Medicare options to suit their needs.