Many people know it’s a good idea to maintain a healthy lifestyle during any stage of life. Of course, this doesn’t mean some people don’t develop habits that are best avoided, especially ones that could present problems later in life, which is why we’re going to focus on some of the more common unhealthy habits older adults should avoid if they want to maintain or enhance their quality of life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40 million Americans currently smoke. It’s a habit that can be harmful for seniors because it increases the risk of developing an assortment of health issues, including heart disease, lung-related ailments, breathing problems, and stroke. It can be difficult for older adults to ditch this habit, so support from family members and friends is essential.
2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Older adults tend to react differently to alcohol than younger individuals, according to the National Institute on Aging. It’s sometimes difficult to detect signs of a problem with excessive alcohol consumption in seniors since alcohol-related issues may be mistaken for balance disorders or age-related instability. Drinking too much alcohol is also not good for older adults because of an increased risk of:
• Falls and fractures
• Automobile accidents
• Worsening symptoms related to osteoporosis, diabetes, or high blood pressure
• Memory loss and mood disorders
3. Making Unhealthy Food Choices
The way the body processes food changes with age, which is just one of the reasons it’s not good for seniors to overdo it with high-calorie foods, processed carbohydrates, sugary snacks, and fried foods. Eating habits like this can also contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and stroke. It’s better for older adults to follow a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, fruits and veggies, healthy fats, and beneficial beverages like water and juice.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Scottsdale Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
4. Overdependence on Painkillers
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, addiction is an underdiagnosed problem in adults 65 and older, and it often begins innocently when older adults overrely on medications to manage arthritis or other chronic conditions. Seniors may be able to minimize dependence issues by taking precautions such as:
• Taking all medications, including over-the-counter ones, as directed
• Exploring non-medicinal pain management options
• Insisting on receiving the lowest dosage of pain meds possible
5. Leading a Sedentary Life
One of the most unhealthy habits seniors should avoid is living a generally sedentary lifestyle. Inactivity increases the odds that an older adult will have issues with obesity, high blood pressure, spine-related pain, and various physical and mental health concerns. Even something as simple as 20-30 minutes of regular exercise 2-3 days a week can make a big difference health-wise for seniors.
Engaging in physical activity is just one of the many ways for older adults to maintain good health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
6. Not Being Social
Some older adults withdraw from social activities because of health problems, but this behavior can also occur because long-time friends are no longer around or able to get out as much as they used to. However, seniors who find new ways to stay socially connected tend to enjoy better emotional health and have a more positive outlook on life.
7. Poor Sleep Habits
It’s generally recommended that adults 65 and older get about 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep each night to stay healthy. During the deeper stages of sleep, the body naturally heals itself. The brain also consolidates memories when in a resting state. Seniors may be able to enhance their sleep habits by:
• Creating a quiet and relaxing sleep environment
• Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
• Talking to their doctor about possible health-related reasons for insufficient sleep
Seniors aren’t the only ones who need to avoid unhealthy habits. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Scottsdale families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. To learn more about our premier at-home care for aging adults, call 480.448.6215 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers.