New Year's Resolution Ideas for Seniors
Believe it or not, the act of making New Year’s resolutions dates back 4,000 years ago to the time of the ancient Babylonians. In the spirit of continuing this long-standing tradition, take some time to sit down with your senior parent, see what goals they have for the year, and help them come up with New Year’s resolution ideas. To get started, here are some easy, fun, and health-focused ideas. Who knows? Maybe you’ll each create a New Year’s resolution list and inspire each other throughout 2018.
1) Take up a new hobby
We all know by now that you’re never too old to learn new things. Ask your loved one if there’s a hobby they’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you can even learn something together, like a new language, how to play the harmonica — or even Zumba. If those sound too ambitious, try simpler New Year’s resolutions, such as a new recipe or a different card game.
2) Reconnect with a friend
Over the years, it’s easy to lose touch with people; it’s especially easy for seniors who may not go out as much or have difficulty writing letters. Help your parent identify a friend they’d like to reconnect with and encourage them to make a phone call. If the person lives close by, arrange to take your parent for a visit.
3) Cut back on sweets
Unfortunately saying no to cookies and cake doesn’t get easier as we age. But too much sugar is not good for seniors, causing weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. Make some healthy New Year’s resolutions with your loved one to choose healthy desserts, like fruit and yogurt or to limit sweets to just one or two days a week.
4) Exercise your body
Speaking of healthy New Year’s resolutions, you knew exercise had to be on the list. However, it doesn’t have to be rigorous. In fact, walking is still considered the best form of staying fit. Even better, researchers at Harvard say that walking just ten minutes a day is a great starting goal. There are also balance exercises that older adults can complete anytime, anywhere. So, go get some new sneakers for you and your loved one and start exercising.
5) Exercise your mind
Staying mentally fit is just as important as staying physically fit. Studies show that regularly challenging the brain keeps your cognitive skills sharp and reduces chances for memory loss. Thinking activities like puzzles and playing cards are great brain exercises. Art and music are also great ways to stimulate memory and cognition.
6) Ask for help
Many seniors don’t ask for help because they don’t want to be a burden or they don’t want to face the fact that they have physical limitations. Unfortunately, this mindset can lead to accidents and injuries. This year, tell your parent there’s no shame in asking for help. Encourage them to make it a goal to better vocalize to you or others when they need a hand.
7) Embrace social media and smart devices
Seniors are no longer the technology laggards they used to be. In fact, seniors are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook. It’s not surprising since social media and email make it easier for seniors to keep up with family and friends, so they feel less isolated. Other apps may also be beneficial to your senior parent.
8) Explore senior living
If you’re considering senior living for your loved one, it’s good to start planning sooner than later. Set some goals this year to visit sites with your parent. That way, the process will be less stressful and may even be enjoyable. Don’t know where to get started? No problem, we can help. Call us 1.866.398.7531.