Throughout our lives, we make decisions on a daily basis that have the potential to affect our health and well-being. And if we develop poor habits regarding our health, we may begin to suffer the consequences when we reach old age.

Studies have shown that lifestyle choices contribute to our mental and physical well-being (or the lack thereof) as we age. In fact, elements as simple as diet and our sleep schedule can have huge impacts on both mental clarity and physical wellness.

We all know that growing old means that we have to slow down a bit. But if you’ve been noticing your aging loved ones having difficulty with performing ordinary tasks, a lifestyle shift may be in order.

Health and wellness are important at any age. And even if your loved ones are already retired, you can still encourage lifestyle changes that will help them to live and feel better.

The Importance of Health in Old Age

We never really know how life is going to affect us. As the saying goes, anything can happen. And we are all subjected to the wearing down of our bodies as time marches on. But keeping a healthy lifestyle is important in ways that not many take into consideration.

Long-Term Care

If we fail to keep a healthy lifestyle, our plans for long-term care beyond retirement may need to be drastically altered. And while many elderly adults prefer (or hope to) age in place, if a healthy lifestyle isn’t maintained, other options for care may need to be considered.

For example, for those with serious health conditions, hospice or other long-term care facilities such as nursing homes may be options to think over. And while some people believe that nursing home conditions might be less than ideal, this could be the only option one has if deteriorating health is deemed a serious concern.

Significant Medical Expenses

With significant health issues, your loved ones’ are going to incur costly medical expenses. And once your loved one reaches retirement age, it becomes harder to pay costly medical bills on a fixed income.

But with keeping a healthy and active lifestyle, the chances of being hospitalized are greatly reduced. And this is good news for anyone’s wallet.

Factors to Consider to Promote Elderly Wellness

We can begin taking our health seriously at any age. And though keeping a healthy lifestyle while we’re young is ideal for having quality health later in life, you can still make adjustments at any stage in life.

A few factors to consider when looking to promote healthy living for your loved ones are as follows:

  • Proper diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Engaging in mentally stimulating activities (reading, puzzles, etc.)
  • Proper sleep schedule
  • Maintaining a social life

Though there are many more attributes to living a healthy life, the aforementioned list is conducive to optimizing health at any age.

Enticing Your Loved One to Change

We’re all creatures of habit. And though routines can have benefits, we can also develop poor or otherwise unhealthy habits that can be difficult to change later in life. So how do you entice your loved one to alter his or her lifestyle?

First, you can show them scientific and medical data that will detail the benefits of changing certain aspects of their lifestyle. For example, many studies have shown that poor sleeping habits can have drastic effects on mental health and clarity. Sharing this type of information with your loved one is often the first step onto the path of better mental and physical health.

Activities to Engage In

Being active is one of the best ways to keep in shape and stay both mentally and physically healthy. And depending on your loved ones’ interests, you’ll have a variety of activities to consider. A few of these are as follows:

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Community functions
  • Volunteering
  • Disc golf
  • Hiking
  • Rowing
  • Going to the gym

Depending on the overall state of health your loved one is in, you should probably consult a family physician before engaging in any type of physical exercise. Additionally, when beginning an exercise or activity regimen, it’s best to start with low-impact exercises and work up from there.

Our health becomes critically important when we reach our golden years. And though our health is important at any stage in life, the more time we invest in creating a healthy lifestyle, the better we feel. If your loved one is aging and you wish to help, encouraging activities that promote a healthy lifestyle is a great strategy.