Creating a list of yearly resolutions may be a simple task for some; however, achieving all those goals may be a much harder task to accomplish for adults 50 and older. According to an online report in Statistical Brain, published Jan. 1, 2017, adults 50 and older are less likely to achieve their yearly resolutions than younger adults in their twenties.
For yearly resolutions to be effective, older adults should identify realistic goals that meet some their changing health and safety needs.
The following are six goals seniors and family caregivers can incorporate into a yearly list of resolutions:
Schedule yearly health tests and screenings
- Schedule preventive care visits and wellness appointments with family physicians; include necessary vision and hearing screenings and update booster shots and vaccinations
- Ask physician to evaluate current prescription drugs and help identify drugs that may increase risk of falls or may interfere with driving
Increase physical activity and exercise opportunities
- Inform family physician before starting an exercise program
- Stay active and reduce sedentary behavior
- When possible, include physical activities that improve flexibility, balance, and muscle strength
- Take daily walks; start slowly and gradually increase speed and time spent
- When using assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, make sure these devices are periodically checked and adjusted
Reduce fall risks at home
- Remove slippery rugs and clutter to help reduce the risk of sustaining a debilitating fall
- Add safety bars around toilet areas and shower stalls
- Increase lighting in walkways and hallways; add night-lights in areas leading to the bathroom and kitchen; increase outdoor lighting around paths
Upgrade alarms and communication devices to meet changing needs of older adults
- Upgrade smoke and fire alarm systems to adapt to the safety needs of older adults with limited vision or hearing
- Replace old phone systems with efficient devices that meet the needs of older adults
Exercise the brain by participating in new and challenging activities
- Learn how to play a musical instrument
- Learn a foreign language or sign up for an American Sign Language course at a nearby college
- Join weekly golf lessons at a local golf club
- Take a computer class at a nearby technical school
Increase social interaction
- Schedule frequent visits with older parents who live alone
- Enlist the assistance of reliable friends and family members who can provide companionship
- or wellness-checks for you or an older parent
- If family members live out of the area or are working full-time and cannot visit you or an older parent, schedule companion care services from a licensed home health agency
- Join wellness groups or local senior centers that promote social engagement along with group activities
To be effective in achieving yearly resolutions, older adults need to match goals to their own changing health and safety needs. Writing resolutions down and revisiting these to evaluate and make improvements will help individuals stay focused and take ownership. Don’t give up!
Should you need assistance in caring for a loved one in the coming weeks, and would like to inquire about our home health care services, give us a call at (407) 628-4357. We will be glad to schedule a meeting at a time that is convenient for you and your family. Senior Helpers of Orlando provides Alzheimer’s care and home health care services in the Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.
Happy New Year!
Ana P. De Lane
Senior Helpers of Orlando Team Member
References and Resources
News Years Resolution Statistics; Statistic Brain; http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/Geriatric Assistive Devices; American Family Physician; http://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0815/p405.htmlSenior Safety: Updating Adaptive Phone Devices and Alarm Systems to Meet the Needs of Older Adults;http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/senior-helpers/os-senior-safety-updating-adaptive-phone-devices-and-alarm-systems-to-meet-the-needs-of-older-adults-20160226-story.htmlASL: American Sign Language-Courses; Valencia College; http://catalog.valenciacollege.edu/coursedescriptions/coursesoffered/asl/