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Aging well: 10 tips to avoid hospitalization

Adjust your living quarters and your social calendar

Happy couple walking with dog through the snow

There are many signs we may observe in our loved ones and in ourselves that signal a decline in health during our senior years. Admission into a hospital is often a major indication that dramatic changes need to be made in one’s health plan and daily lifestyle. However, early detection and observation can prevent this.

We’ve outlined some important steps you can start implementing into your daily lifestyle right now in order to avoid hospitalization in the future.

Scheduled physical activity to maintain strength and mobility

Getting enough physical exercise is key to our health and well being. Talk with your doctor to determine the optimal level and type of physical activity you or your loved one can accomplish successfully. Discuss with your loved one’s caregiver how you can incorporate more physical activities into their life. Exercise and movements that improve balance, strength and coordination are great methods to prevent falls as well as to promote overall physical confidence. If you or your loved one has injuries or limited mobility, ask your doctor or physiotherapist if they can customize a special exercise program for you. Ask someone to supervise exercise time to ensure safe and positive results.

Nutrition can support bone density, mental acuity

Maintaining a balanced diet will ensure you and your family member are getting the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients to develop optimal bone strength and to keep mental acuity sharp. Osteoporosis, loss of bone density and deterioration of bone tissue, is one of the leading causes of hip fracture. Making sure to prepare nutritious meals and snacks every day can help can help minimize the severity /impact(?) of falling.

Check out NND’s curated balanced soup recipes and healthy, tasty dishes you can make with Instant Pot.

Hire around-the-clock care

Looking after your loved ones and arranging around-the-clock supervision for them can help you keep a close eye on any physical and mental changes happening. Be sure to check in regularly with your senior family member to help you stay observant and take the right steps at the earliest signs of decline.

Clean house and de-clutter: Review living quarters for structural or design risks

Organizing you and your family member’s home into a safe environment can help reduce the risk of accidents and hazardous incidents. Easy fixes include: replacing rugs that slide easily with non-slip rugs, tightening up any hand-railings, installing ramps when necessary or where steep stairs once existed and making sure any low-lit rooms or hallways are brightened with new light fixtures. Getting rid of any extra clutter lying around can also help clear hallways and rooms to ensure safe movement throughout the home.

Plan day trips, dinner parties and simple adventures around town

Going on outings contributes to happier aging. One of the first symptoms seniors show during decline is withdrawal from activities. Take time to organize interesting outings with them such as lunch at their favorite restaurant, a walk in the park or a scenic drive to one of their favorite places. Loneliness is the leading cause of depression in seniors so finding ways to incorporate visits from friends and family members into their day is also a wonderful remedy to the blues.

Manage medication and know what’s being prescribed

Speak to a doctor to see if your loved one is taking the right and proper amount of medications. If they are experiencing any symptoms with their current medications, it may be a sign they need to be changed or modified.

Support spouse of high needs elder with hired care

Spouses of the elderly often end up looking after their partner who needs continual care. This can lead to exhaustion, stress, burnout and health issues for themselves. Consider the option of arranging respite care or hire a caregiver to help you and your family navigate the new changes happening in your life. You will be able to give more of your time and energy in a positive way by taking breaks when necessary and arranging for care teams to assist you.

Keep skills sharp with a new hobby or group activity

Finding a hobby or interest is great for seniors. Talk with your loved one about which hobbies they’d like to try next. If possible, sign them up for a class or community activity like yoga, pottery or a morning walking club. Find creative ways to keep them engaged socially. It will make a huge difference in their well-being and life outlook as well as promote mental stimulation, satisfaction, purpose and happiness.

Prioritize socializing with others

Spending time with people you love is always a healthy idea. Find ways to encourage your loved one and senior friends to attend events and get-togethers. Social stimulation will keep them mentally sharp and will prevent loneliness, which can trigger a decline in health.

Do more of what makes you happy

Find that one special thing (or things) your senior used to love to do that made him or her happy and fulfilled and reincorporate it into their daily life. Take them to visit their family more often, arrange for a fun weekend get-away once or month or encourage them to start taking a new class or reading (listening) to a new book. Creating an environment for happier aging is the key to optimal well being and good health.

To learn more about our Homecare program at Medcan, please contact your nurse consultant at [email protected]  

If you book your Annual Health Assessment between January 9 and January 31, you will be entered for a chance to win your choice of one of the following add-ons: 10 personal training sessions; Liver Health Assessment; or Genetics and Genetic Counselling. 

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