Great New Years Resolutions For Seniors

Senior couple a bit drunk on champagne at a New Year's Eve party. Black background.


As 2015 draws to a close, it is time again for all of us to reflect on where this year has taken us and what direction we want to take our lives in 2016. New Years is a time for many to make resolutions on the goals they want to set and the habits they want to form and the habits they want to change next year. For seniors, making an effort to change certain habits can be crucial in improving the quality and length of their lives. Every year into retirement, it is a good idea to think about ways to protect and better yourself. Great New Years resolutions for seniors can extend beyond those stereotypical self promises to quit smoking and lose weight.


Here, we will list some of the most beneficial New Years resolutions for seniors, regarding taking measures to guard your heath, improve your relationships, and enrich your senior years:

Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish

As an elder, it is still important to make healthy eating choices. Some good resolutions for seniors may be to include more dark green vegetables as side dishes, prepare less fatty meats for dinner, or reduce the intake of carbs in bread choices.


Take multi-vitamins

Sometimes you won’t have the resources or the appetite to eat as much as you should to get the nutrients you need. This year, you may decide it is best to start taking vitamins to give your immune system a boost. Calcium and Vitamin D are excellent for keeping bones strong to prevent any damage from accidents around the house.


Do your best to stay active

Finding ways to exercise as a senior is important for maintaining a healthy heart, good metabolism, resilience and strength. While heavy lifting and hard running may no longer be options, there are still plenty of ways for seniors to stay active. This year, you may resolve to take more walks, begin some tranquil exercises like Tai Chi, or make a habit of stretching.


Guard against falls

Late into the retirement years, falling presents a greater threat to one’s health, and it is important to think about taking measures to prevent them as much as possible. This new year, good resolutions for seniors may include trying to improve the safe guards at home to prevent falls in slippery areas like the bathroom.


See your doctor regularly

Making routine visits to the doctor becomes more important with age. Scheduling a complete physical at least once per year can be beneficial for detecting any of the early signs of trouble. There may be new developments that may call for alterations with your medications. Vaccines, hearing and vision tests, as well as check ups for colon or breasts cancer are important for seniors to keep diligent on their health conditions.


Get more rest

Older adults need just as much sleep as younger people, a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep per night, for healthy functioning. Daytime naps may complicate the sleeping cycle, making it harder to get a full night’s rest. So try to coordinate a routine that is best for your sleeping habits.


Speak up when there are any signs of problems

It may be wise to choose someone close to you to be your confidant for any unusual symptoms you may be experiencing. Many elders feel that their problems might be burdensome to bother others with, but just know that your family loves you and wants to be there to hear about anything going on with your health.


Sometimes, problems start small and may feel unimportant at the time, but it can be helpful to address any strange symptoms early. Responding to the symptoms of dementia or any physical discomforts can lead to early detection and help you get better treatment and preparation for any concerning health developments.



Christmas with Alzheimer’s

Happy senior man getting Christmas present, satisfied


The holidays are the time of year where families make it a priority to get together and celebrate. However, for millions of Americans, the cheer of the holidays becomes a little complicated when an elder loved one has Alzheimer’s. It can be painful and disheartening for members of the extended family to become slowly forgotten by someone who has been so dear to them throughout their lives. When the differences and changes in a senior’s personality become apparent, the question for everyone becomes how best to handle a Christmas with Alzheimer’s.

There are still ways that a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be included and participate in the family cheer. Some adjustments or special accommodations may need to be provided in order to allow the family congregation to go smoothly.

The first thing that needs to be done is preparation.

A bustling house full of merry and rowdy guests may be overwhelming for seniors with dementia, depending on which stage of Alzheimer’s your relative is in. If you serve as your aging parent’s primary caregiver, then you will be well acquainted with their specific comfort levels for participating in daily events, and make plans accordingly.

If you are not your senior loved one’s routine caregiver, it is best to have a talk with the person who assumes that duty, to gage how best to accommodate your loved one spending Christmas with Alzheimer’s. Understand their limitations of the extent to which he or she can be involved with the activities and conversations with others at the dinner table or socializing in the living room, etc.

It is imperative to make certain that the other family guests are on the same page regarding your senior’s Alzheimer’s condition, and understands their role in helping and being supportive. Take the time to have a call or send an email to the extended family coming for Christmas, so everyone has an idea of what to expect and how to behave to avoid any embarrassing incidents of frustration or confusion among the family.

Ensuring that everyone is prepared and educated about their senior loved one’s dementia will relieve anxiety, stress, and uncertainty for everyone involved in the family reunion, and help with better enjoyment of the holiday. It is key to try and act as normal as possible, and allow everyone to be relaxed and comfortable. If any outbursts or episodes are likely to occur for a family member with advanced Alzheimer’s, then make certain to have a plan for mitigating the situation as casually as possible. If there is a comforting place where your senior having a panic episode can go to calm down, then make sure the room is ready and easily accessible at all times. Incidents of confusion can be more likely to occur when the house is busy and filled with people an Alzheimer’s senior may not recognized. It may be further awkward for elders to experience many unfamiliar people directing a lot of attention on them.

Try to plan for the possibility of hiccups when scheduling your reunion. It is best to make your schedule as dynamic as possible, flexible enough to set aside time to attend to any difficulties that the stress of spending Christmas with Alzheimer’s may bring. The party may have to slow down at times, but it is worth it to everyone who wants to do all that is necessary to be inclusive of a struggling loved one with dementia.