After a lifetime of caring for others, seniors may find it a real challenge to take time to take care of themselves. Yet “self care” – in the form of fitness, nutrition, hobbies, and good sleep – is the key to overall wellness and a better quality of life.
4 Self Care Tips for Seniors
1. Focus on Healthy Activities and Diet
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things seniors can do for their health. It is proven to prevent many of the health problems that come with age. And it helps support mental wellbeing for people of all ages. However, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that by age 75, one in two women and one in three men don’t engage in physical activity. That’s especially unfortunate because when seniors stay active, they can expect a greater quality of health and increased confidence.
Older adults who stay physically active are generally healthier, well into their senior years. In fact, physical fitness is foundational for senior wellness – decreasing the risk of stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes, depression, and dementia. It also decreases the risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Even if you’ve lived a sedentary life, beginning a fitness routine has proven to reap significant benefits.
Additionally, exercise can decrease overall deterioration of health, allowing for seniors to remain independent for longer. At Copeland Oaks, we encourage an active retirement – mind, body, and spirit. That’s why we offer so many activities and events that promote wellness – from recreational sports to group exercise classes, individual fitness opportunities and more. Take advantage of our wellness center, aquatic center, and fitness room – where you’ll find exercise classes that are as fun as they are beneficial. Our aquatic center includes an indoor pool and fitness room featuring senior-safe equipment. Copeland residents also enjoy taking advantage of personal training.
Residents at Copeland Oaks enjoy the following activities in our Buckeye Aerobics Studio and Aquatics Center:
- Chair-based Classes
- Low-Impact Classes
- AquaFitness Class
- Lap Swimming
- Water Walking
- Personal Training
- Pickle ball
- Walking Group
- Biking Group
Located near the Berlin Lake Golf Club, Copeland offers residents a free lifetime membership. Residents are free to play a game independently or join our Copeland Oaks Golf League which plays weekly, weather permitting! Use of golf carts is also free. Learn more about some of our residents’ favorite activities at Copeland Oaks.
As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor first, to determine the best and safest activities for you.
Eating a well-balanced diet is also an important part of staying healthy. As we age, our metabolism changes and our bodies require fewer calories. Yet we need more of certain nutrients. These vital nutrients can have a profound effect on overall health and longevity. In fact, there is growing evidence that diet plays an important role in heart health, mental health, bone health and decreasing the risk of certain cancers. And because seniors are more prone to dehydration, it’s critical that they drink plenty of water and other fluids to stay hydrated.
At Copeland Oaks, we know it can become difficult for older adults to prepare healthy meals. That’s why we promote eating well with nutritional dining opportunities at all of our dining rooms. Eating well helps seniors maintain a healthy weight, stay energized, and get the nutrients you need. It also lowers your risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
2. Engage in Hobbies
We believe seniors should make the most of their retirement years. Engaging in enjoyable hobbies and discovering interesting and exciting new ones is especially important for seniors’ mental health – relieving boredom, loneliness, and isolation. Hobbies can be beneficial for seniors for many reasons:
- Promotes productivity and a sense of accomplishment
- Sharpens the mind and reduces the risk of dementia
- Reduces depression
- Promote happiness with hobbies that involve social connections
- Lowers anxiety and helps relieve stress
- Boosts the immune system and lowers blood pressure
There is always something happening at Copeland Oaks. You’ll discover a wide range of social, recreational, educational, and spiritual activities that appeal to just about every interest – from arts and crafts, music, a woodworking shop and community garden – even free classes at the nearby University of Mount Union. Find exciting and engaging opportunities, including classes and workshops, parties, game nights, special events, holiday celebrations, off-campus excursions and more. Copeland Oaks also offers over 75 resident-led activities for practically any interest.
Copeland Oaks offers so many ways to get involved:
- Community Green Space / Garden
- Creativity Center
- Woodworking Shop
- TV Station
- Computer Lab
- Historical Archives Room
- Lounges for games and socializing
But exploring hobbies doesn’t have to only involve a structured activity or class. It can include volunteering through the church, community outreach, civic involvement and more. Learn more about activities at Copeland Oaks. And check out our community events calendar to see the latest Copeland Events.
3. Maintain Healthy Sleep and Rest Periods
As we age, our sleep patterns change. Some health conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, and prostate cancer can cause sleep problems. Certain medicines can make it hard to sleep. Dealing with pain can keep older adults awake, too. These changes can cause insomnia, or trouble sleeping on a regular basis. Seniors often get tired earlier in the evening, take longer to fall asleep, sleep fewer hours, and wake earlier in the morning. They also sleep less deeply and wake up more often throughout the night. But to feel rested and alert, seniors require between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Here are some tips for better, more restful sleep:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day
- Exercise – it can help you sleep better!
- Limit naps to 20 minutes when possible
- Avoid caffeine before bedtime
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol in the evening
- Use your bedroom for sleep only – don’t watch TV or scroll through social media on your phone
4. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
Mental health is especially important as we age – affecting how we feel, think, act and cope with life. A recent CDC study estimates as many as one in five seniors experience some sort of mental health issue. Sometimes mental health can deteriorate in seniors due to a stroke, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or as a result of taking certain medications. Unfortunately, older adults are also less likely to reach out for help compared to other age groups. And untreated mental health disorders in older adults can lead to poor quality of life and decreased longevity.
If you’re a senior experiencing loneliness, anxiety, depression or confusion, reach out to your family doctor, pastor, counselor or therapist for support. Remember, all profressional help is confidential.