Too many people assume that once you reach a certain age, life will just be about going through the motions and resting at home.
But that can’t be further from the truth. While there’s certainly a handful of elderly folks whose physical limitations hinder them from doing much, many people in their 60s, 70s, and beyond have been able to make the most of their older years and live life to the fullest.
And even if you’re not in the best of health, you can still make small changes to improve your quality of life. Check out these ways you can make the most of your time during your older years.
1) Stay Social
It’s normal for our social circles to get smaller as we age; however, it’s important to stay socially connected if you want to maintain a high level of happiness.
Research has shown that social isolation and loneliness can lead to poor mental health and impaired executive function.
With that in mind, make an effort to stay in touch with friends and family members. Host family dinners, get in touch with that long-lost friend, or have a chat with that neighbor down the street.
You may also choose to participate in social clubs and groups or volunteer in your city or town. Through these clubs, you can achieve a sense of shared purpose and belongingness—and many of these organizations are welcoming to people of all ages.
These activities are beneficial since not only do they provide a way to connect with your community, but they also give you a sense of purpose. So don’t underestimate the power of social connection!
2) Spend Time Outdoors
Being stuck in a dim room for hours on end can be mentally taxing. If you’re able, dedicate some time each day to get out and enjoy the fresh air.
Going for a leisurely walk in your neighborhood can do wonders for your health, as it helps lower stress levels, boosts energy, and improves mental clarity. If you’re physically capable, hiking along a nearby nature trail or relaxing by the shore can also boost your quality of life tremendously.
You don’t even have to do any physical activities to get the benefits of being out in nature. Simply watching the garden or sitting outdoors and soaking up some sun can be beneficial.
3) Eating Healthy
The food you eat can play a massive role in how you and your body feels. If you’re accustomed to eating junk food and processed products, you may want to consider making a change.
By eating nutrient-dense foods, like whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources—you can give your body the fuel it needs to stay healthy. That said, moderation is key to ensuring that you don’t gain excess weight and stay within healthy limits.
As we grow older, our energy levels also tend to reduce over time. Diet plans like this one here are effective for helping people get the right amount of nutrients to sustain their energy even if they don’t have the appetite for it.
4) Do House Chores
Speaking of energy, doing household chores can be a great way for elderly people to expend their energy.
That said, elderly folks don’t need to do any heavy lifting if they’re physically incapable of doing so. Instead, light activities such as dusting, vacuuming and tidying up can all contribute to improving the quality of life for seniors.
People want to feel like they have a sense of purpose—and doing chores can provide just that. Tidying up around the house can provide seniors with a low-stakes sense of accomplishment that benefits not just the seniors, but everyone else who lives at the house.
5) Play Mental Games
Mental games such as crosswords, Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles are all great ways to keep the mind active, making them especially useful for seniors.
These activities can help slow down the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, along with enhancing your problem-solving skills.
They also serve as challenges that help keep your mind sharp. The best part about them is that they can also be done anytime, anywhere. You can even install apps on your phone that offer a variety of engaging brain games that any senior would enjoy.
Ultimately, these activities can help provide an enjoyable way to pass time and prevent boredom. And, besides, it beats lying down in bed all day just passing the time!
6) Address Health Issues
As we age, it’s important to stay mindful of our health and get regular check-ups.
Keep an eye out for potential health issues, such as neurological issues, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They can spiral out of control if left untreated and may put seniors at risk if they don’t get the medical attention they need in time.
Besides physical health conditions, don’t forget to address any pertaining to mental health as well. Anxiety, depression and loneliness are also common issues among seniors and should be addressed professionally if needed. This is especially true for any seniors living alone.
The key to staying healthy is to be aware of one’s own body and take action when something feels off. With the proper medical attention and lifestyle changes, seniors can remain healthy and spry well into their 80s.