By the time adults get into their 70s, overall health and wellbeing can vary. Some individuals within this age group are completely healthy, others have multiple health issues, and many fall somewhere in between. Regardless of what’s going on health-wise, there are many things people in their 70s can do every day to maintain physical, mental, and emotional health. Here are five recommendations.
1. Find Purpose in Life
Many of the world’s longest-living people report finding purpose in life drives them. This is certainly true for people in their seventh decade of life. Purpose can involve a variety of meaningful goals and activities, some of which may involve:
• Exploring new hobbies and interests
• Sharing experiences with grandchildren
2. Get Sufficient Sleep
It’s a myth that older adults need less sleep. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults 65 and over get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Chronic health issues and mental health challenges can sometimes affect sleep habits, and your loved one’s doctor should be able to make specific recommendations if such issues are a factor. In general, people in their 70s may enjoy better sleep hygiene by:
• Sticking to a regular sleep schedule
• Avoiding excessive daytime napping
• Staying active throughout the day
• Maintaining a quiet, comfortable sleep environment
3. Avoid Falls
The risk of falling becomes greater with each passing decade. One of the ways people in their 70s can minimize this risk is with forms of exercise that target muscles that play a role in balance and coordination. Gentle forms of exercise such as yoga and water-based activities can help with this goal as well. Fall risks may also be mitigated by:
• Removing household fall hazards
• Using grip bars around toilets and tubs/showers
• Making appropriate home modifications
A home caregiver can help your loved one exercise in safety and comfort. Elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
4. Keep the Brain Engaged
Mental health is just as important as physical health for people in their 70s. In fact, there’s plenty of research suggesting aging brains benefit from regular stimulation, which can also reduce cognitive decline and maintain mental alertness. Reading, working puzzles, and learning new things are just some of the many brain-stimulating activities that can help seniors in their 70s maintain good brain health.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Richmond, VA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
5. Get Regular Exercise & Eat Healthy Foods
These are two things that naturally work well together to produce a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits for people in their 70s. Exercise can keep older bones and joints strong while naturally boosting mood by stimulating the release of “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. Forms of exercise like yoga and daily walking can also provide an opportunity to clear the mind and relax.
Many studies show healthy eating has numerous benefits for older adults. What’s also great about healthy eating is the many options people in their 70s have, even seniors with picky tastes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends older adults follow a balanced diet that includes:
• Fruits and vegetables
• Beans, whole grains, and other healthy starches
• Low-fat dairy products
• Lean proteins
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Richmond families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call us today at Richmond (804) 741-0009 or Williamsburg (757) 220-3151 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.