Financial Tips for Newly Retired Seniors

Financial Tips for SeniorsMost people look forward to their retirement years; it’s a time when we can finally relax, explore new options, travel, and enjoy all that life has to offer without the stress of heading into the office anymore. However, being prepared for the change in lifestyle that’s ahead means more than just thinking about how you’ll fill your days; it also requires being financially ready. Retirement may signify the end of your working life, but it’s definitely not the end of your financial life!

The Importance of Planning for the Future

While you might be anxious to take that big cruise or European sight-seeing trip, it’s important for new retirees to assess their financial situation for future needs. You may still be healthy and independent now, but if your medical needs change, would you be ready to pay for the costs associated with the care needed, especially if it’s for the long term? Properly planning for the future means that you’ll be able to truly enjoy your retirement years to the fullest extent.

Financial Tips and Advice for Seniors

While it can be difficult to judge just how much money you’ll need to ensure a comfortable future and cover all the costs associated with retirement, you can use these financial tips for seniors to make sure you’re protecting your assets as much as possible:

  • Plan for the long term. According to a survey conducted by Wells-Fargo a few years back, only one-third of Americans have a financial plan that is set to see them through retirement. With no plan, you might eat up all your savings within the first few years of retirement. Plus, as mentioned before, being prepared for the changes in your health that could occur as you age is vital, and most of us will incur costs for long-term care down the road.
  • Seek a professional financial advisor. When it comes to managing your money, you’ll want to see professional help. Advice from family members can be helpful, but a trained financial expert can ensure you’re making wise decisions with your savings and investments.
  • Watch out for scams targeting seniors. Sadly, seniors are often the targets of financial scams; in fact, research verifies that 1 in 5 older Americans have been preyed upon by scammers. Educate yourself about the different types of scams out there and beware of those offers that sound too good to be true.
  • Don’t forget about inflation. Over time, prices will rise and your money will gradually be worth less. Understanding how inflation can affect your savings will ensure your hard-earned cash does not get depleted and leave you no money for the future.
  • Try not to rely on Social Security. It’s important not to expect that Social Security benefits alone will allow for a fulfilling, financially-sound retirement. Plus, you can be fairly certain Social Security won’t cover long-term care costs. With the future of Social Security not entirely clear at this time due to government changes that could occur, make sure you have an additional retirement savings plan.
  • Update your portfolio regularly. Changes in your health and lifestyle can affect your current portfolio, so make sure you’re updating it regularly. It can be difficult to know just what type of future expenses you’ll have when it comes to medical costs or long-term care, but keep a realistic perspective that your needs might change.

Planning for the future by using these helpful financial tips for seniors can help ensure a happy, relaxing retirement where you are able to enjoy all the things you’d planned to do!

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Pneumonia in the Elderly: Prevention is Key

Preventing Pneumonia in the ElderlyThroughout the cold and wet winter, our elderly loved ones can become more susceptible to certain bacterial or viral infections like pneumonia. In fact, along with having a weakened immune system, age is one of the most common risk factors for pneumonia. Plus, once a senior has this condition, recovery can be quite difficult and take a long time; complications can easily arise, and over 60% of seniors get admitted to the hospital due to pneumonia. This is why preventing pneumonia in the elderly is vital to keep them healthy this time of year.

What Causes Pneumonia?

People over the age of 65 tend to be more susceptible to pneumonia due to the fact that lung capacity changes with age. Seniors who live in a community setting can be more at risk for contracting illnesses from others due to the closeness of the quarters and increased exposure to those who may already be sick.

Pneumonia can be caused by both bacteria or viruses like influenza, and sometimes even predisposing conditions like diabetes or cardiopulmonary disease can put the elderly more at risk. Seniors get pneumonia by breathing in infected air particles, and oftentimes it becomes a complication from a viral illness.

Pneumonia Prevention Tips for the Elderly

Preventing pneumonia in the elderly is possible, providing you take some extra precautionary measures. Here are a few ways to make sure your elderly loved on is staying healthy throughout the winter and lowering their risk for pneumonia:

  • Be familiar with the symptoms of pneumonia. Coughing, chest pain, chills, fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue are all symptoms of pneumonia to watch for in your elderly loved one. However, some seniors may not display these symptoms, so also be on alert for signs of confusion, weakness, dizziness or delirium. Head to the doctor right away if your loved one is showing any unusual symptoms.
  • Make sure they’re washing their hands. You may need to remind your loved one to wash their hands often throughout the day or to use antibacterial hand gel. Keeping hands clean can help reduce the spreading of germs through touch.
  • Maintain good dental hygiene. Tooth and gum diseases are also a known cause of pneumonia in the elderly, so brushing and flossing is a must. Make sure your loved one is taking good care of their teeth and gums.
  • Practice healthy habits. Encourage your loved one to stay physically active and eat healthy foods; the healthier they are, the stronger their immune system will be. If your loved one smokes, it’s definitely time to quit; smoking is a major risk factor for pneumonia as it harms the lungs’ ability to defend themselves against an infection.
  • Try to avoid individuals who are ill. Of course, in a senior living community, it may be difficult to avoid other residents suffering from illnesses like the flu or common cold. But when your loved one is around others who are ill, they are more at risk for getting ill themselves and for that illness to develop into pneumonia.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Connecting to Loved Ones with Dementia

dementia communication tipsWhen a loved one has dementia, staying connected and maintaining communication can pose certain challenges. The changes in personality and behavior that come along with the disease make it difficult to remember that our loved ones are still there, simply trapped by their condition.

However, there are some key ways we can still connect to our loved ones with dementia. Learning what works best for your particular situation will allow for easier caregiving or less stressful visits, plus you can significantly improve your relationship with your loved one.

Dementia Communication Tips

Even though a loss of communication skills is a natural consequence of memory loss, learning how to deal with dementia in your loved one by finding the right way to connect to them is vital. Properly communicating with your loved one allows you to better deal with any dementia behaviors that are not typical of their personality. Here are a few dementia communication tips to grown the connection between you and your loved one:

  • Use nonverbal communication often. Oftentimes, as the saying goes, actions do speak louder than words. Making eye contact, a light touch on the hand, or a simple smile can go a long way in relaxing your loved one and be there in the moment with him or her.
  • Set a positive mood. Likewise, speaking in a soft voice and showing respect help set the mood for a positive experience. Use not only your words, but as mentioned above, use body language and touch to show your loved one you are there and that you care.
  • Use simple phrases and questions. Clearly state the message you’re trying to convey, using yes or no questions as often as possible. Don’t overwhelm them with a variety of options or answers, and use visual cues to prompt a response. Expect to have to repeat or rephrase certain questions as times, and try not to lose patience when doing so.
  • Limit distractions during visits. When you’re trying to communicate with a loved one with dementia, eliminate noises and other distractions that can cause confusion. Make sure you have their attention, stating their name, your name and your relationship. Move to a quieter area if necessary to really improve the connections you’re attempting to make.
  • Acknowledge your loved one’s feelings. People with dementia can have issues not only with memories, but they also become easily confused or suspicious of others. Instead of insisting they are wrong in their feelings, acknowledge them and try to provide reassurance and support that you understand how they feel.
  • Bring up the past. Although sometimes those with dementia can’t remember what they had for lunch two hours ago, they clearly remember past events. Talk about the good old days and encourage them to share memories of time gone by.
  • Keep a sense of humor. During trying times, it can be tough to keep your chin up and especially to manage a laugh or two. However, those with dementia can take cues from you and often enjoying being silly and laughing along with you. Laughter is a great way to build that connection.

Remember, your loved one with dementia is still the same person they’ve always been. Keep those connections strong by learning what dementia communication technique works best, and you’ll improve not only your relationship, but also their quality of life.

For more information about person-centered memory care through Auguste’s Cottage at American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com/service/augustes-cottage-memory-care/.

The Benefits of Stretching Exercises for Seniors

stretching exercises for seniorsAs we age, staying limber and flexible becomes more and more important. Flexibility helps us increase our range of motion so we can easily complete everyday tasks like bending down to tie your shoes or reaching to get a dish from a shelf. This is where stretching exercises for seniors come into play; daily stretching can help improve your flexibility and athleticism, decrease the amount of energy you need to complete a movement, and most importantly, help prevent injury.

Adding Stretching Exercises to Your Workout

Staying physically active as you age is key to a better overall quality of life. Exercise helps keep our bones strong and our backs straighter, can help delay the onset of certain diseases like diabetes, relieves the pain you feel from arthritis, improves your mood and mental health, and is essential in fall prevention. It’s never too late to add physical activity into your daily routine!

If you’re already exercising on a regular basis, it’s important that you’re taking the time to properly stretch your muscles, too. Stretching will help loosen your joints by activating the fluids within them, which helps reduce damage caused by friction. Stretching will also help lengthen your muscles, and when a muscle is short or tight you’re much more susceptible to injury. Once you add stretching into your workout routine, you’ll notice the results quickly.

Tips for Effective Stretching

Add stretching exercises for flexibility into your workout routine by following these tips:

  • Warm up before stretching. A warm up before stretching can be done easily with some light weights or a quick walk. Your muscles need to be warmed up before you start stretching to help you avoid injury.
  • Take your time. Ease yourself slowly into the stretch. You should feel a mild pulling in your muscles, but it shouldn’t be painful. A stabbing pain is a sign that you’re stretching too far. If you’re new to stretching exercises, remember that it will take some time for those muscles to loosen up.
  • Relax and breathe. Never hold your breath while stretching. Breathe into the movement, carefully pushing yourself a bit farther with each breath.
  • Take note of your spine. Be aware of the position of your spine. Don’t let it curve too far as this can make you vulnerable to an injury. Keep your back and joints soft, never locked into position.
  • No bouncing. Don’t bounce into a stretch to try to make yourself reach farther. Use steady movements instead of jerking movements to ease into the stretch, as those quicker movements can actually cause the muscles to tighten instead of loosen!
  • Hold that stretch. Give yourself at least 30 seconds in each stretching position to allow enough time for the muscle to elongate. Breathe, repeat, and try to stretch slightly farther the next time.

If you are just getting started with a workout routine, adding stretching to your warmup and cooldown is essential to help alleviate the soreness that may follow exercising. As always, before you start any new physical activity, talk to your doctor first to learn what the best plan will be for your health needs.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

The Biggest Myths about Diabetes

diabetes mythsOne of the challenges of living with diabetes can be deciphering fact from fiction. It might be confusing to figure out what you can and can’t eat and how to make healthy lifestyle changes to keep complications from arising. However, if you are armed with the right information, managing your diabetes while living a normal life is entirely possible.

Debunking Diabetes Myths

There are a lot of myths about diabetes, so let’s take the time to debunk some of the most popular ones now. Learning about the disease can lead to making better lifestyle choices to keep you healthier and allow you to make informed decisions when it comes to diabetes management.

  • Myth #1: Eating a special diabetes diet is a must. Following a healthy meal plan is a must; a diabetes diet follows the same rules as a healthy meal plan for anyone. Eating whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, non-starchy vegetables and fruit is recommended for everyone. In fact, some of the special diabetic foods you find on the shelves offer no real benefit- and they’re probably more expensive, too.
  • Myth #2: Diabetes is really not that serious of a disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to take the disease seriously. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes causes more deaths each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined and nearly doubles your chance for a heart attack. Properly managing the disease will lower your risk for all the health complications it can bring later.
  • Myth #3: Only people who are overweight get diabetes. Being overweight is one risk factor for diabetes, but not all people who are overweight will get the disease. Other factors like age, genetics and ethnicity also play a role.
  • Myth #4: You can’t have any sugar ever again. Go ahead, order that dessert! You can still enjoy a sweet treat from time to time. Just make sure you’re following a healthy meal plan, getting the right amount of exercise, and you aren’t overindulging every day. Dessert should be a small portion or saved for a special occasion.
  • Myth #5: Living with diabetes means you’ll be sick all the time. While it’s true that getting sick can make diabetes more difficult to manage, you’re at no more risk of actually getting sick than anyone else. It’s advised that if you’re living with diabetes to get an annual flu shot to help keep the disease under control at all times.
  • Myth #6: Diabetes is contagious. Diabetes can run in your family and your lifestyle choices can play a large role in whether or not you develop it, but you can’t “catch” it from others like you would the common cold.
  • Myth #7: Needing to use insulin means that you aren’t managing your diabetes correctly. Diabetes can be a progressive disease, meaning that over time your condition can worsen or become more serious. The body can start to gradually produce less and less insulin, and even with oral medications it can be difficult to keep your glucose levels normal. Using insulin gets your levels back to normal, which is the goal of proper diabetes management.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Building Mental Muscle as You Age

brain games for memoryYou already know that living a healthy lifestyle has positive physical effects on our bodies. By eating a well-balanced diet that is low in fat and cholesterol along with adding daily exercise into our routines, we keep our bones strong and our bodies lean and balanced. However, did you know mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise to help improve your brain’s capabilities?

Just like our bodies, as we age our brains can begin to slow down and lose some of its cognitive function, or its “muscle”. Neuroplasticity is the term that is used to define the way our brains change throughout the course of our lives. It refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections through our lifetime; how neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain are able to compensate for injury or disease and adapt to changes in their environment. This is why it’s essential that we keep our brains strong by doing a “workout” through brain games for memory and other mental exercises.

The Benefits of Memory Games for Seniors

Recent studies were conducted that show how an active brain can lead to less of a decline in cognitive abilities. One study in particular involved more than 2,800 adults aged 65 and older who participated in up to ten brain training classes for six weeks. The classes focused on the memory, reasoning and speed at which they processed information. They found that the seniors involved in the training classes showed significant improvement in all areas- and the improvement lasted for at least five years! The brain training classes also made daily tasks like managing the household budget and completing chores easier.

Brain games for seniors don’t even have to be actual “games” at all. While playing card games or board games are a great way to help improve your memory, there are other things you can do to test your brain and keep those neurons working properly. You can pick up a new hobby, like learning a musical instrument or trying your hand at painting or knitting, for example. Writing down and trying to memorize lists is also a great memory game for seniors; let an hour or two go by and see if you can recall the entire list.

You’ll start to notice the benefits of these brain games pretty quickly, which include:

  • Sharper concentration.
  • An increase in your short-term memory.
  • Greater creativity.
  • A boost to your brain’s overall functioning.
  • Enhanced focus.
  • Better problem-solving skills.

Remember, our brains are constantly at work for us as they process information, help us form new ideas and allow us to continue to learn something new with each passing day. Just as we stay active physically to keep the muscles in our bodies limber and strong, exercising our brains can only keep our minds active and healthy, too.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

How Support Groups Can Help Caregivers

caregivers support groupAccording to recent studies, there are an estimated 66 million caregivers in the United States who provide unpaid care to someone who is ill, disabled or aging. Of that 66 million, close to 7 million provide care to an elderly loved one in need of assistance with daily living activities, like grooming or eating. Caregivers often report they are challenged by finding enough time to attend to their own needs, and consequently, their health and mental state begin to deteriorate.

This is where joining a caregivers support group can really help those family caregivers. The word “support” is defined in many ways: to bear or hold up, to sustain or withstand, to undergo or endure, to sustain under trial or affliction, to maintain by supplying things necessary for existence, or provide for. Caregivers support groups not only provide resources and information, but caregivers can also form friendships and generate camaraderie with others who are sharing similar experiences.

The Advantages of Joining a Caregivers Support Group

Connecting with others who are essentially facing the same types of issues as you are in your caregiving duties provides numerous benefits. The first step is to locate a caregiver support group in your area. If you aren’t sure you have the time to get away for an hour or so on a weekly or monthly basis, some groups may offer on-site or in-home respite care services to allow you a reprieve from caregiving. Or, you can even consider joining a caregiver support group online. This way, you can receive the support you need from the comfort of your own home. Online groups provide the same positive benefits as in-person groups, too.

No matter how you go about getting the caregiver support you need, the advantages of joining a support group are endless. Some of the benefits you’ll experience include:

  • A chance to share common experiences. If you feel like you’re the only one who is dealing with a difficult caregiving situation, a support group can put that idea to rest. You’ll meet individuals who probably experience very similar situations day in and day out, and just talking about them gives peace of mind and can lead to you being a better caregiver, plus validate any feelings you might be having.
  • Learning coping strategies. Support groups offer a way to learn new coping strategies by talking to others. Even when you feel like you’re doing just fine, caregiving duties can ultimately begin to take a toll. You’ll be able to discuss what worked for others, finding solutions to common issues.
  • Receiving affirmation that attending to your own needs is vital. Caregivers can often feel guilty about leaving their loved one for any length of time, taking the full burden of their care needs. However, support groups can reaffirm the importance of taking care of yourself; that it’s not selfish to attend to your own needs.
  • Forming friendships to help avoid isolation. Isolation can also become a problem for caregivers, who get so involved in caregiving that their world becomes quite limited. A support group provides not only a way to meet new friends with common interests, but also to avoid isolation that can lead to loneliness and depression.
  • The opportunity to help others. The skills you’ve acquired as a caregiver can be shared with others. In a caregivers support group, you’ll be able to support and help others while receiving the support you need, too.

Being a family caregiver is a challenging, yet very rewarding experience. Don’t forget to attend to your own needs for your own quality of life. If you aren’t sure where to find a caregiver support group, check with a local Area Agency on Aging.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Why Proper Posture is Imperative for Seniors

proper posture for seniorsHave you ever noticed that the older you get, the shorter you seem to get, too? As we enter our 50s and 60s, we actually do experience a “shrinking” phenomenon and can end up losing up to an inch of our overall height. What causes this?  And is there anything we can do about it?

Proper Posture and its Effect on Seniors

It’s true that our spines begin to change as we age. The vertebrae and discs that act as cushions between the bones of our back start to break down and thin out over time. Also, the cartilage and connective tissues in our spines can start to lose thickness and elasticity. However scary this may sound, there are actually ways we can ensure we lose as little of our height as possible and keep the bones in our spine healthy. Maintaining proper posture throughout our lives is so important to keep our backs strong and straight.

Proper posture for seniors is even more important. Taking the proper steps to make sure you’re maintaining good posture can help you:

  • Stay balanced and decrease chances for a fall. Falls are the number one cause of injury among seniors, leading often to broken bones and other injuries. When seniors are being more mindful of their posture, they have better balance and less risk of falling.
  • Prevent osteoporosis. Because your back muscles and ligaments have to work overtime when you have poor posture, over time these overworked muscles can lead to degeneration in the spine and serious conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
  • Lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Seniors often develop hypertension when their blood isn’t flowing properly throughout their bodies. This also puts them at greater risk for stroke, heart attack and conditions like obesity and diabetes.
  • Lift spirits and decrease feelings of depression. Having proper posture improves your circulation, which better oxygenates your body and leads to a positive mood and perception. Studies have even shown that seniors who stand and sit upright have more energy and are more confident in life.
  • Enhance cognitive functioning. Even though it’s not scientifically proven that proper posture can delay the onset of dementia, a properly aligned spine can aid in communication between neurotransmitters and the brain, allowing for better memory recall.
  • Improve blood flow and help with digestive issues. Sitting up straight while you eat can aid in digestion, as your organs aren’t being compressed by slouching.

How to Correct Posture through Exercise

It’s important for seniors to work on improving their posture as soon as possible. First of all, avoid being sedentary for long periods of time. Simply getting up and moving around every so often allows your muscles to stretch out and stay limber.

Secondly, invest some time in learning about some exercises that can help improve your posture. Core exercises are perfect for this as they help keep you balanced, stable, and increase your overall body strength. Look for a senior yoga or Pilates class to help develop your core strength.

Also, talk to a trainer about what types of machines at your local gym can target your back extensors, side and pelvic muscles and neck flexors. At American Senior Communities, we offer our New Energy Wellness program that focuses on improving balance and posture, and our Health Promotion Coordinator will design a customized workout regimen based on your needs.

You can also do some weight-bearing exercises at home, like walking or climbing stairs (if you’re currently stable on your feet) to help reduce any breakdown in your vertebrae.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Beating the Winter Blues

what is seasonal affective disorderDuring the long, cold, mostly gloomy days of winter, it can be easy to start to feel gloomy yourself. If you’re noticing that during the winter months you start to feel sad, anxious, moody, or are losing interest in activities you normally enjoy, you may have what is called SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, or seasonal depression.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

While the actual causes of SAD are unknown, experts tend to agree that it has something to do with the lack of sunlight over the winter. Symptoms like the ones mentioned above, along with gaining weight, chronic tiredness and trouble concentrating generally can start in the fall in September or October and last until April or even May.

Because the sun is out for a much shorter period of time through the winter, this lack of light can upset circadian rhythms, which control our sleep-wake patterns. It can also affect the chemical serotonin in our brain, which causes changes in our moods. It’s difficult to diagnose SAD, but in general, if you’ve noticed that you’ve been more depressed or showing other symptoms throughout the winter months for the past two years in a row, or perhaps it runs in your family, it’s possible you have it. A mental health assessment and blood tests for conditions like hypothyroidism should also be administered to rule out other issues.

Seasonal depression is more likely to affect women, especially those who live in northern areas where the sun is not very strong throughout the winter. For the elderly, the months following the holidays can be more difficult than other times of the year, too. The happy times and memories the holidays brought can be easily replaced by feelings of sadness and loneliness once the festivities are over.

How to Stay Positive through the Winter Months

However, there are ways to boost your mood and keep a positive attitude throughout the winter. The following techniques have been known to alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder in many people:

  • Add more vitamin D to your diet. Since we get vitamin D from sun exposure, it can be difficult to maintain the right levels over the winter months. Plus, a lack of vitamin D can lead to a greater risk for osteoporosis. Add foods like salmon, egg yolks and lean red meat to your diet to consume more vitamin D.
  • Try light therapy. Light therapy uses what is called a “light box”, a fluorescent lamp that gives off light similar to sunlight. These lamps can help decrease the amount of melatonin in your system and regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and epinephrine.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps boost your mood and will improve your sleep habits. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day- you can even break it up into ten minute intervals when you’re just getting started.
  • Talk to someone. Reach out to friends or family when you start to feel isolated or lonely. Or, join a support group or head to a counselor for therapy. Just talking about how you feel can improve your spirits, plus you’re getting the social interaction you need, too.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

 

How to Live Well in the New Year

healthy aging tipsWe are nearing the end of the holiday season, which means it’s time to look forward to a fresh new year ahead. As we get ready to welcome in 2016, making some resolutions to live better can help us focus on successful aging while enhancing our overall health and wellbeing.

Healthy Aging Tips for the Year Ahead

Changing your lifestyle can be difficult, but it’s also imperative for healthier aging! You’ll feel better, look better, and just be happier in general. However you choose to ring in the New Year, take a moment to focus on how you can adjust your life in the days to come and create some resolutions. Here are a few healthy aging tips to keep in mind for a successful, happy new year:

  • Try something new. Whether you choose to learn a new hobby, take up a new exercise, or even take a trip somewhere you’ve never been to, trying something new cannot only expand your knowledge or enhance your physical health, but it can also expand your social circles! Building relationships as you age is key to your quality of life.
  • Exercise your mind. Physical activity is vital for your health, and keeping your brain active is also imperative. Take a class at a senior center to learn something you’ve always wanted to know. Or, simply challenge your brain with Sudoku or crossword puzzles. The more you are using your mind, the more memory muscle you’ll build and the better your brain will work.
  • Schedule those annual health screenings. Get a complete physical at least once a year, and find out if you should get screenings for vision, hearing or even serious conditions like cancer if it runs in your family. Early prevention is key to managing most health problems!
  • Safeguard your home or living space. Protect yourself from a debilitating fall by making sure your home is as safe as it can be. Remove throw rugs and loose cords from the floor, install handrails in the bathroom if necessary, and increase lighting throughout your living space.
  • Eat fresh. Choose healthier, fresh foods like fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and whole grains. The way you eat will affect your weight, as well as your emotional and cognitive health.
  • Take your vitamins. Add taking a multivitamin to your daily routine if you aren’t already taking one. Just make sure the vitamin you choose has 100% of the daily value for most vitamins and minerals.
  • Quit unhealthy habits. Toast the New Year with a smaller glass of champagne. Cutting back on your alcohol intake can help alleviate depression and health issues that come with excessive drinking. If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit! You’ll reduce your risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, plus you’ll be able to breathe easier and will feel more energetic overall.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Seniors need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, just like their younger counterparts. Try to avoid daytime napping and learn how to unwind and relax in the evening hours.
  • Speak up when you’re down. If you’re feeling isolated and depressed, talk to someone about it. About 1 in 5 older adults suffer from anxiety and depression, so if you’re feeling blue, irritable, or are no longer enjoying things you previously loved to do, reach out to your doctor or a friend or family member.

Happy New Year from American Senior Communities! We wish all our wonderful residents and their families a great 2016!

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

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