As we get older, it gets harder to find ways to improve mood and mental well-being as well as maintain physical health. However, many seniors find that there are simple ways to make their daily livesbetter so that they can remain active and vital well into retirement, and you can too. Here are a few of the best tips on how to keep your mind and body happy and healthy.
Many seniors find after retirement that they have a creative spark that they were never able to tap into before. Painting, sewing, woodworking, and crafting are just a few of the things you might try, and being creative is wonderful for the brain. In fact, art therapyis used for recovery in many mood and mental disorders.
Devote yourself to a hobby
Finding something you truly love to do will not only engage your mind and body, it will help you stay social and give you a goal and a feeling of satisfaction. Gardening, book clubs, and church groups are just a few of the ways you can enjoy yourself while focusing on a purpose. You might also start a walking group with friends in the neighborhood or volunteer at the local library.
Getting in a daily workout can help boost your mood and improve your sleep cycle, and it’s also a way to be social. Going for a walk in the park, riding a bike, or playing in the snow with the grandkids are all great ways to stay active while enjoying yourself.
Learn something new
Ever wanted to learn a new language, or become more familiar with technology? Check out a class at the local college, library, or senior center and soak up some knowledge. Learning about computers and how to navigate new technologies will help you stay in touch with family easily and give you a feeling of accomplishment.
Be a gamer
Playing word and math games can improve brain function and help you feel more alert, so check out Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and other smart games to keep your mind in peak shape.
Improving your mental and physical health doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult. Implementing simple ideas can help you stay active and healthy for years to come.
Your 60s is a period of reduced stress as you relinquish control over demanding commitments such as young children and work. Additionally, this is the stage when you have more flexibility to indulge in yourself and put your wants first. With less stress and more flexibility, this decade gives you more opportunities to keep your skin healthy and looking great.
Visible signs of aging do not have to mar an otherwise glorious chapter of your life. Understanding the current changes in your skin is vital to building the best anti-aging skincare routine forseniors. Slow down the hands of time with products that boost collagen, reduce wrinkles, and moisturize your skin.
Here are some skincare tips to help you achieve healthier skin and feel more confident as you blow out more birthday candles.
Understand Your Skin
While everyone experiences skin aging, women’s skin ages faster after menopause. The skin’s balance is disrupted when the production of certain hormones drops, which explains why signs of aging are more visible in women in their 60s.
Healthy aging-related skin changes such as thinning, dryness, roughness, sagging, and the appearance of age spots and deeper wrinkles and lines are unavoidable. Many of these characteristics are caused by the loss of firmness and elasticity in your skin.
It’s only natural for your skin to go through changes over time. However, external variables such as pollution, stress, and sun exposure might accelerate or aggravate this process. Your skin may also be more susceptible to common skin conditions affecting the elderly such as eczema, skin infections, and severely dry and itchy skin.
Understand your mature skin’s characteristics so you can use mild, effective, and natural products that address your specific needs.
Use Natural and Organic Skincare Products
Many conventional skincare products contain hormone-disrupting chemicals like parabens, phthalates, GMOs, sodium lauryl sulfate, and synthetic colorants and fragrances. These carcinogens are known to have devastating effects on the immunological, reproductive, and endocrine systems.
Natural, organic, or vegan skincare products are less prone to trigger allergic reactions, inflammation, or irritations since they do not contain harsh chemicals. These natural skincare products rich in botanical oils, vitamins, and antioxidants often provide superior benefits.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
One of the most common causes of wrinkled, spotted skin is sun exposure. While sun damage may not manifest fully until later in life, it is never too late to improve your skin’s health by limiting your exposure to the sun.
Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above whenever your step outdoors. Seek shade, particularly between 10 AM and 4 PM when UV light is strongest. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight apparel that protects your skin from the sun.
Don’t Neglect Cleansing
Cleanse your face and neck at the start and end of each day as part of your beauty regimen. This will help maintain the health of your skin and stimulate skin renewal.
Because mature skin is more sensitive, use a mild, organic facial cleanser that is gentle on the skin. Consider oil cleansing instead of using traditional facial cleansers. Cleansing oils are a form of multi-purpose facial wash that purifies and hydrates your skin at the same time.
Don’t Take Too Long in the Shower or Tub
Taking a bath or shower can help soothe dry, itchy skin, but remember to keep it short. While a hot bath may be a wonderful way to unwind, you risk drying out your skin if you spend too long in the tub.
Wash with a mild, fragrance-free, moisturizing bar soap or body wash to help reduce dryness. Avoid using hot water as it can dehydrate your skin and contribute to its dryness—use warm water instead. Finally, apply a good moisturizer formulated for dry skin while your skin is still damp.
When you reach your 60s, it is important to gently exfoliate your skin to boost its ability to rejuvenate. Exfoliating also aids in the removal of dead skin cells, resulting in a more radiant complexion.
As previously stated, your skin is thinner and more fragile, so use a mild, organic face and body scrub and gently massage it over your skin in circular motions. Don’t apply too much force as this may easily lead to more fine lines and worsen the situation of sagging skin. Additionally, limit your exfoliating routine to every 10 to 14 days.
Stay properly hydrated both inside and outside. Consuming sufficient water throughout the day may be a difficult habit to form for anyone, but keep in mind how critical it is to stay hydrated and how it can impact your skin.
Skin tends to become dull and dehydrated when you reach your 60s. If you want to keep your skin bright and supple, drink more water and apply a deeply moisturizing cream every morning and evening. Doing so will help reduce the appearance of pronounced wrinkles and restore your skin’s freshness, radiance, and suppleness.
Age Gracefully in Your 60s and Beyond
Consider this stage of your life as an opportunity to look and feel great about yourself. Embrace your wrinkles and be proud of the accomplishments you’ve made throughout the decades. Adopt an effective skincare routine, a healthy lifestyle, and a happy outlook to make aging gracefully a breeze.
Older adults are at high risk of developing depression. As we age, the brain becomes less active and we often begin to experience mild memory losses. Even though many seniors choose to get treatment as soon as they realize their mental health begins to decline, they don’t want to become pariahs to their families. As a consequence, they refuse to get further help and end up in depression. How can we help our older parents overcome depression when they refuse to accept our assistance?
Depression – a real health concern we shouldn’t leave unattended
Depression is a proven health concern that manifests differently from individual to individual. The symptoms are real, and if they’re not treat in advance, the condition may lead to even greater health issues, including sleep deprivation, lack of interest in performing daily activities, isolation, lack of appetite, and more.
Sadly, too many seniors can’t or won’t want to admit that they feel depressed. They refuse to get help because they don’t want to be a burden to their loved ones. As their parent, you have to be more aware of the signs, so that you can help them get back on their feet. Depression shouldn’t be seen as a sign of weakness. Everyone can become depressed at any age, and regardless of any accomplishments of background.
Have a chat with your parents and talk about their feelings
Stress or bereavement are not the sole cause of depression in older adults. If you’ve noticed that your loved ones are not eating anymore or that they’ve lost interest in performing daily activities that once made them feel good, then they might be depressed. It’s very important to talk to your parents about their feelings.
Have a friendly conversation and ask them if they’re doing ok. Older adults become depressed when their health is in jeopardy; or when they begin losing their friends due to old age. If you can’t afford to hire a specialized caregiver, you can be their caregiver. All you have to do is listen to what they have to say. Be there to comfort them and find a way to lift their spirit by doing activities together.
The link between sadness and depression
There’s a very tight connection between sadness and depression. However many older adults claims they’re not sad, making you believe they’re not depressed. But deep down something’s off. Their depression might kick in and develop in a totally different way. Pay close attention to the signs, and if you notice that mom doesn’t talk as much or doesn’t want to do anything, then she might be depressed.
In older adults, depression can be observed physically. Your parent may suffer from insomnia, acute arthritis, lack of appetite, or lack of energy. Migraines and headaches can also be a predominant symptom. As we age, we begin losing some of the people we care most about. Loss is excruciating, and older seniors don’t know how to cope with it. Many grieve differently, and even though it’s normal, some adults end up depressed.
It’s tough to make the difference between depression and grief because oftentimes the symptoms are very similar. Nonetheless, there are ways to tell them apart. Grief involves a wealth of emotions; some are good, others are not so good. Sometimes, the person grieving a loved one may experience feelings of joy and happiness. When you’re depressed, positive feelings are completely eradicated, and you feel totally empty.
Helping a loved one cope with depression
Beating depression is hard, but not impossible. It demands a lot of hard work and determination. Support matters the most, they key often being to be there for your aging parent and engage in activities that make them feel positive and upbeat. Note that digital communication doesn’t help; talking to your mom every week over the phone is not enough to raise her spirit. You have to do it in person.
Make time to visit every week. Bring the kids over, go out for coffee, and find a way to have a good time and remember the good times. Residential care may not be the first thing that comes to mind when aiming to overcome depression. But it might be a good idea because it allows older adults to make new friendships and build relationships.
The number of seniors diagnosed with diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 11.8 million individuals over age 65have some form of diabetes, whether it is Type 1 or Type 2. That accounts for almost 25 percent of the population of people in the United States over age 65.
Just because this disease has reached an epidemic level doesn’t mean you have to accept that someday you will get it, too. There are a number of steps you can take to help decrease your chances of receiving a diabetes diagnosis.
Try to Increase Your Daily Amount of Exercise
Aches and pains, health problems and busy schedules often result in people starting to slow down as they age. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you can do if you are trying to prevent diabetes.
Exercise reduces your risk of diabetes by not only lowering blood sugar levels, but by helping you lose weight. Both high blood sugar levels and being overweight has been proven to increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes.
Many seniors are unsure of where to start when it comes to increasing exercise, especially if there has been a decrease in mobility. Luckily, there are a number of ways seniors can get their daily amount of exercise without having to run a marathon or lift weights at the gym.
Some exercise recommendations include:
Walking at a moderate to brisk pace
Seated or chair aerobics
Lightweight strength-building exercise
It is recommended that seniors try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in a day, but it doesn’t have to happen all at once. Exercise routines can be broken up into 5-minute or 10-minute increments. This makes exercise goals easier to reach, as it seems less intimidating.
Start Making Healthy Choices when it Comes to the Food You Eat
The food and drinks you consume on a daily basis dramatically increase or decrease your risk of diabetes. If you wish to reduce the risk of developing this disease, it is important to start making healthy food choices.
Some healthy food choice recommendations for seniors include:
Try to eliminate or reduce your intake of foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Reduce the amount of juices and sodas you drink and replace them with water.
Watch the amount of carbs that are consumed every meal, as carbs can increase blood sugar levels.
Reduce portion sizes.
Consider eating several small meals throughout the day, as opposed to two or three big meals.
Choose healthier snacks, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Making dietary changes can be difficult, which is why there is help available. Many nutritionists offer group classes or individual sessions that focus on making healthy lifestyle choices that can help reduce your risk for diabetes.
Maintain a Healthy Weight or Work to Lose Weight
Excessive weight gain can increase your risk for diabetes because the body is unable to produce the natural insulin needed to break down glucose. It is important to either maintain your weight, if you are at a healthy weight, or lose weight if you wish to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
If you are overweight, losing anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds could dramatically decrease your risk for diabetes. The amount of weight you will need to lose will vary depending upon your unique situation. Speak with your doctor or health care provider to determine how much weight, if any, should be lost. He or she may be able to provide you with recommendations on how you can lose weight.
While following these recommendations may lessen your chances of getting diabetes, it may not completely stop it from happening. Some factors — such as other health problems, genetics and race — increase the possibility of diabetes. Unfortunately, these factors are uncontrollable and/or cannot be changed.
Even though there are some risk factors of diabetes that cannot be controlled, you can still dramatically minimize your risk of getting this disease by incorporating some, if not all, of these recommendations into your daily life.
Thomas Boston foundedCash Now Offeras a way to help the diabetic community. Being a diabetic himself, his main goal is to make sure everyone who is in need of diabetic strips has access to them.
We have all heard of the “sandwich generation” – those middle-aged adults who are still caring for their own children and also an aging parent. Well, here is an emerging trend that I will call the Triple Decker Sandwich generation: Baby Boomers who help care for aging parents, who still have children at home of their own, and who find themselves also taking on full time care of their small grandchildren. Yes, that is a sandwich of an entirely different kind. That is a Triple Decker.
Pew Social Trends(2013) revealed that many adults in their 30s and 40s were caring for ailing older parents and also providing some type of financial support for grown children. This resulted in reports from the sandwich generation in feeling in a hurry, rushed, and not having enough time for all of their expected duties. Now, add to those statistics another emerging trend: grandparents caring for grandchildren. I am not referring to the occasional or even regular hour babysitting or childcare that loving grandparents provide. Instead, this is the 24/7 responsibility for grandchildren who live with them, or whom they have adopted. The 2015 Profile of Older Americans from the Agency on Aging found that “in 2014, about 554,579 grandparents aged 65 or more had the primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them”. Now, please note that this is only those grandparents aged 65 an over. What about all the others in their 50s and early 60s doing the same? I imagine that each person reading this can think of at least one or two grandparents who are raising small grandchildren. The implications of this on the health of aging persons is enormous. So, here are some tips to survive the Triple Decker Sandwich generation.
If you have this many people in your life to care for, you must pace yourself. Avoid the temptation to give 100% all the time. It isn’t possible. Something in your life will suffer – and often this is your own health. Think of this task of caring for multiple generations as running a marathon. Develop skills, train, get into a good rhythm that you can maintain for the long haul.
You might have been able to juggle 4 kids and a job when you were in your late 20s or early 30s, but maybe now you are in your 50s with aging parents, teenagers, and a grandbaby to care for. Flexibility is a key to success. You just can’t do everything the same way if you are caring for small children again. Decide what is most important. Set reasonable and attainable goals. Make small goals for each day and celebrate those accomplishments.
Even if you were used to being able to do it all yourself when you were younger, the amount of care that a Triple Decker generation person takes on requires some help at times. Let your adult children watch that baby to give you a break. Let the teens in the house help with the childcare. It is a good time for them to learn these skills for when they are parents. Tag team with your spouse to share the burden if you have a little one in the home. Church friends are happy to help if you need a night out.
Take time to rejuvenate
Being part of a Triple Decker sandwich is tough. Take time to rejuvenate to avoid burnout. You can’t care for anyone if you become ill or incapacitated yourself. For each person, renewal comes in different forms. For men, this might mean playing a sport or watching games on TV without interruption, or having a quiet private place in the house that is off limits from the noise of the household. For moms, this might be shopping alone or getting a manicure or pedicure. Sometimes talking on the phone, or meeting with friends for lunch provides a needed break. Know what you personally need to recharge and refocus and then allow yourself this (without guilt) on a regular basis. You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can change how you deal with them.
Don’t expect too much
Chances are, if you find yourself in the Triple Decker mode, you are aging yourself. You can remember how you balanced work, life, kids, and higher education by yourself years ago. Now you wonder how you did it all. Well, you were 20 or 30 years younger then, so cut yourself some slack. Be sure to get enough sleep. Take breaks as needed. Exercise and eat right. Cut out the unnecessary things you did before to fill time and focus on those priorities that you set, without neglecting your own health.
Triple Decker Sandwich persons are tough and resilient. Congratulate yourself that you have been able to make it all work and care for your many loved ones. You sacrifice many things such as an easy and comfortable retirement and the ability to travel. But, you have given a great gift to those you love by sharing your care for them. In the end when you reflect back on your life accomplishments, you might very well find that this was one of the greatest.
Whether you’ve recently retired, are planning to retire soon or are facing an unknown future where retirement seems virtually impossible, when you’re living on a fixed or tight income, you’re always looking for ways to save money. Plus, since one of the first areas to get cut when the budget is tight is entertainment, you may wonder how can you still have fun, without spending a fortune. To answer that question, here’s a list of inexpensive activities that could be perfect for you!
Attend Free Events. From free nights at the museum to local art gallery showings in town, keep your radar on for free activities in the area that you might enjoy. Most cities will host free lectures, concerts, movie nights and other activities from time to time.
Start a Club or Discussion Group.
Start a book club, movie group or discussion group with a handful of friends, hosted either at your home or rotating homes month to month. Getting together will cost little more than making some snacks — and it will still be a fun night for everyone.
Take Advantage of Community Centers and Libraries. Rent movies or check out books at the library, and go for walks at the local community center track. Within your specific city or town, find what other amenities are available to you and decide to make the most of them, either on your own or with a friend.
Volunteer in the Community. Volunteering not only makes you feel good about helping others, but it also connects you with people in the community and often qualifies you for some cool, cash-saving perks. Whether it’s free food when you’re volunteering at the local school district or a place to socialize when you’re serving as a greeter at the hospital, volunteering helps you reach outside yourself and have fun in the process.
Host Potlucks. Rather than always going out to eat with friends, try hosting potlucks where everyone brings a dish to pass. You’ll only need to make one dish, still have the fun of socializing with friends or loved ones, and save a bundle in the process.
Enjoy the Outdoors. Go to the park, take walks on trails at the forest preserve, plan a picnic or watch a local Little League game. Getting outside is not only good for your spirits, it’s usually inexpensive too!
Mark Westerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for CareOne, Inc., a provider of debt relief services nationwide.