May 27, 2015 is National Senior Health & Fitness Day! It is so important to take care of our loved ones who are seniors. Even if they are independent, it is important to encourage them to take good care of themselves. I am the youngest grandchild on my mom’s side. I am the youngest of ten so by the time I was born my grandparents were already older than most grandparents. My Grandma Rose had heart problems for years. She had her first open heart surgery a couple years before I was even born. I remember she would always take great care of herself. She would walk around the mall all the time, if she couldn’t get to the mall, she would walk laps around her house. She also always ate a heart healthy diet, not a lot of red meat and took her medicines. She must have done something right because she went sixteen years without another open heart surgery when the normal time frame is ten years.
She ended up with Alzheimer’s disease so she was unable to care for herself in the same way as before. It was extremely hard because she was such an amazing woman. We had to make sure she got exercise and took her medicine and watch her diet for her. No one minded though because she always took such great care of all of us. After her Alzheimer’s progressed, it became too hard to care for her ourselves. We had to seek out help by looking for a nursing home as she needed more medical help. I come from a family of teachers, none of us are in the medical field. Thankfully we found a great one for her to go to. It was also close by so I could go visit her all the time, we were extremely close. I am so glad there is BestNursingHomes.com to help educate those who we trust our loved ones with. BestNursingHomes.com is run by the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers (ASNP) a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about skilled nursing care.
Here is a quote about BestNursingHomes.com:
“We are very grateful for the leadership of John Sorensen in the post-acute care industry. John is a leader in his field, a generous philanthropist, and a great example of someone who places serving the patient above anything else. We are proud to be associated with John and North American Health Care and grateful for his support to promote best practices in skilled nursing.” – Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Association for Skilled Nursing Providers
You can do lots of things to get your loved ones moving and healthy:
Go for walks together, if the weather is bad, walk around a mall or even around the house.
Take them shopping with you, have them help push the cart for exercise and the cart will give them some support.
Go to parks and walk trails and have some fun on the swings.
Park a little further away to get exercise when going to the store.
There are also many activities at senior centers that they can enjoy and make some new friends.
Make sure they are going to the doctor regularly and are getting preventive tests like colonoscopies and stress tests.
Monitor medicines and make sure they have everything they need for the month
Cook together and make healthy meals that they can just heat up from the freezer. Sometimes cooking isn’t as fun when you are just cooking for one and people tend to go to fast food and other processed foods.
The most important thing is to be there and spend time with them. Family and friends being there can have an impact on how healthy you are. Remember that emotional health is also really important.
Get them involved in clubs and groups based on their interests so they are making friends and socializing.
I know today is National Senior Health & Fitness Day but it also reminds me to take better care of myself even though I am only 33. Time goes by so fast and if I make changes now, it will be easier as I get older.