New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors
For most of us, saying goodbye to 2020 was certainly a welcome reprieve. It was a difficult year, and while we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a glimmer of hope as vaccines are being delivered throughout the world.
While your New Year’s celebrations might have looked a bit different this year, there are some traditions you can follow no matter what. This includes setting New Year’s resolutions.
New Year resolutions are important for all of us. They help us stay motivated and visualize what we want out of life. It’s a fresh start and a time to reevaluate our mental and physical health and wellness.
When you make resolutions to yourself, it can help you more easily and readily achieve your goals for the year. As you get started, the following are worthwhile resolutions for seniors.
Top 2021 Resolutions for Seniors
Organize Your Medicines
If you take medicines, missing a dose can be detrimental to your health. You may start to experience symptoms fairly quickly, yet this is a common issue during your senior years. Make 2021 the year you commit to yourself that you’ll organize your medicines.
In addition to not missing a dose, you, of course, never want to take the wrong combination or double up on anything. That can also lead to serious side effects.
Start by taking an inventory of your medicines. Create a chart or list for yourself, and place it somewhere that is easily visible. Write down each of the medicine’s names, what it’s for, when you take it and how much you are supposed to take. If you aren’t sure, you can always ask your pharmacist to send you a list.
You can further this New Year resolution with an alert system like UnaliWear. UnaliWear is a wearable, voice-controlled smartwatch that includes personalized medicine reminders.
Safety-Proof Your Home
If your plan is to age in place, which is a goal of so many modern seniors, you can make this the year that you start preparing for that. You want a home that’s going to be safe for you, your spouse, and even your grandchildren when they visit. Understand your fall risk because falls are the leading cause of injury among people older than 65.
Ask a friend or family member to help you, or hire someone who specializes in helping seniors age in place. You might consider repairing uneven floors, adding grab bars in the bathroom, or using brighter lighting, just as a few examples to prevent falls.
You can also invest in a medical alert system as part of your plan for aging in place. With a medical alert system like MobileHelp, you can retain your independence and live life on your terms, without sacrificing safety or peace of mind.
Something else to integrate into your New Year resolution plan is decluttering. Decluttering is good for your safety to prevent falls. It’s also good in terms of your mental health. A clear, clean space will help you start the year with a fresh outlook and mindset.
If you can’t tackle everything all at once, don’t worry. You can set little goals for yourself each day or week and work your way through the different areas of your home.
Use Technology More
The use of technology can be intimidating, but if the past year taught us anything, it’s how important technology can be. While social distancing is going on, you may be communicating with your family almost entirely through technology. If you aren’t, make 2021 the year you embrace it and learn to love technology and all that it can offer.
For example, Zoom calls and FaceTime calls can help you stay in touch with friends and loved ones, regardless of the distance. You can feel like you’re spending more time with your children and grandchildren than you ever thought possible, even if you’re physically far from one another.
Other types of technology you might want to integrate into your life as part of your New Year’s resolutions include social media and the use of various apps and technology-based games. These can be entertaining in addition to providing connection. Games and even eBooks can keep your brain challenged, and they can add to your quality of life.
If you want to learn more about technology but you aren’t sure how to get started, there are local and online classes that can help you. You can also reach out to your family and ask if they can give you a crash course on some of the technology you’re likely to enjoy the most.
Commit to Fitness
Fitness is something that’s important no matter how young or old you are. Our bodies need activity and movement, but modern living doesn’t always lend itself to that. Make it your goal in 2021 to find ways to move more.
You don’t have to do a strenuous workout to get the benefits of physical activity. Just a daily walk or swim at your local community center can help your physical and mental health. It can strengthen your muscles, which will help improve balance and help lower blood pressure.
Don’t think of fitness as an all-or-nothing. Think of it as something you can gradually or incrementally implement into your life as you have the chance. Take an on-the-go medical alert with you that has GPS tracking available, so even if you get lost or experience a fall, help can find you fast.
Visit Your Primary Care Doctor
Regular medical care is important no matter how old you are, but especially as you age. Talking to your doctor and having routine testing done can ensure that you’re in good health, and if there are any issues, you can take care of them sooner rather than later so they’re more treatable. Develop a strong relationship with your primary care doctor, and don’t be afraid to speak up when you have questions or concerns.
Develop Social Connections
2020 wasn’t exactly the year of social connections, at least not in-person. However, this year make it a goal as part of your New Year resolutions to get more social, whether that’s in person or virtually. During your senior years, social connections help you continue to thrive. It’s good for your brain and mental health, and socializing with friends and family is an integral part of being happy overall.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Again, many of the New Year’s resolutions on this list aren’t just good for your senior years but are applicable anytime in your life.
If you don’t already, challenge yourself to eat healthier foods this year. Experiment with foods you might not have tried before. Focus on a variety of items, and cook at home when possible. It’s tempting to order takeout or perhaps foods of convenience, but turn your meals into an experience that you enjoy.
From fall prevention to making your home ready to age in place independently, let 2021 be a year of exciting opportunities to rise to the occasion. While last year was difficult, this year can be one in which you feel great and live well.