New Year's resolutions for senior citizensMany people make New Year’s resolutions to start off the new year. These resolutions usually have a self-improvement theme: lose weight, get in shape, read more, watch less TV, etc.
By: By Mary Krueger, senior liaison, Alexandria Echo Press
Many people make New Year’s resolutions to start off the new year. These resolutions usually have a self-improvement theme: lose weight, get in shape, read more, watch less TV, etc.
Most of these good intentions will not last beyond a month or so. Senior citizens might want to consider some of the following New Year’s resolutions.
Plan to eat at least one nourishing meal a day. If you have lost interest in eating because you live alone or do not want to make the effort, get out of your rut!
Increase your social contacts. Make new friends at a senior club, church, new neighbors, etc. Invite a friend to join you to watch a movie or special TV program while you eat. Prepare more food than you need and you will have leftovers.
Get up and exercise. Try to walk at least a mile two to three times a week. Walk with a friend. Go to the mall and walk. If you don’t want to go outside and can afford a treadmill, purchase one and set it up in front of the TV so you can watch your favorite program while you walk.
Consider a personal emergency response system. If you live alone, you should seriously consider one of these devices that can immediately summon help if you need it. You will be provided with a small device that you can wear around your neck or on your wrist. You can press the button on the device and help will be on its way immediately.
Engage your mind. Regular mental stimulation will help you stay sharp and reduce memory loss. Start a new hobby, join a book club, go to the library, make a scrapbook of your life. You have a great story to tell and your family and friends would love to experience it with you through your scrapbook.
Clean out your closets and drawers, discarding possessions that you haven’t used for two or three years. Donate your goods to a charity or church. Give important items to family or friends.
Get your papers/affairs in order. Do you have your important documents and information together in a safe place? Does anyone else know where to find them? Get them together in one location, make a list of them and let someone know where they are.
Go green. Recycle, cut back on fuel consumption both at home and in your car. Turn out the lights and lower your thermostat when you leave the house.
Do one good thing for yourself every day. This one is tricky. We are not used to doing things for ourselves. Take a nap, take a long car ride just to see new sights. Pack a picnic. Feed the ducks/geese. Go to a ball game. Walk in the park.
Get help if you need it. If you find it difficult to shop, house-clean or do laundry, consider contacting an agency to provide you with a senior companion or home helper for a few hours a week.
Contact Mary at Douglas County Public Health Senior Office at (320) 762-3047 if you have questions or concerns. Happy New Year!