Senior citizens are a huge and vibrant part of our population. As a matter of fact, in the UK, almost 19% of the populace is aged 65 and older according to ons.gov.uk. Globally, the UK is also ranked as the 17th best place for seniors to live as per a survey by ceoworld.biz. This is thanks to their healthcare coverage and pension benefits. That said, there are always more ways to improve seniors’ quality of living. Here are a few easy, but incredibly meaningful, tweaks any older adult can adopt:
1. Find a low-impact workout like Pilates
Just because your senior years are a time to relax, doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep moving. If anything, regular exercise is all the more necessary to keep you feeling your best. So as not to exacerbate any medical conditions, it’s best to turn to low-impact workouts that can still get your heart rate going and keep your body limber. One such exercise is reformer Pilates. As we discussed in a previous article here on pilatesnearyou.co.uk, by using Pilates reformers, seniors can gently but effectively maintain flexibility and strength. Since each movement is slow and gentle.
2. Allocate a few minutes a day to a hobby
Dedicating time to hobbies is not just a pleasant way to pass the time. It can also stimulate the mind. Studies from Age UK show that 20% of seniors with hobbies even feel younger. An article by seniorlifestylemag.com shares that some of the most popular senior hobbies include card games, crosswords, and jigsaw puzzles. Although not physically demanding, these games can exercise the mind and significantly improve cognitive function. Another highly stimulating hobby that many seniors are dabbling in is arts and crafts. Whether that be via painting, pottery, or knitting, some experts even believe that artistic pursuits can be therapeutic.
For many older seniors with dementia, art therapy is even a common treatment since it helps rekindle old memories.
For the more mobile dancing is reported to be the best way for seniors to stay mentally and physically fit. According to American research it is better than any other activity including chess or crosswords at maintaining mental agility and has the added benefit of retaining mobility.
3. Take advantage of smart devices
For seniors, the safety and convenience of smart devices can be life-changing. According to britishcouncil.org, devices that are Internet-connected—and thus, are part of the Internet of Things (IoT)—can help older people stay independent longer.
Lockdown has seen seniors increasingly use computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets to stay in touch with family and friends.
These user-friendly devices that can help seniors stay safer and make daily life easier. These devices can monitor and maintain a senior's home with little need for manual intervention and include voice-activated hubs, from which they can also access AI assistants.
Most notably, seniors can use these phones to connect to the Internet for online banking, shopping, entertainment, and even socialising.
4. Optimise your home with ergonomic accessories
Over 3.8 million seniors live alone, New Age UK finds that 23% of these independent older Brits have problems with their day-to-day tasks at home. This can be attributed to how their homes have not been adjusted to suit their new needs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to have major renovations. Instead, a few mindful accessories can do wonders.
For instance, since ONS reveals that 47% of the elderly population use the Internet, you could purchase an adjustable tablet stand. According to painfreeworking.com, this relatively inexpensive item can help prevent any strain or pressure on your neck and joints as it safely keeps your gadget at a comfortable height. This is great, especially since a growing number of seniors are turning to telehealth and video calls. Another clever home addition would be a grabbing tool that easily allows seniors to reach for items that are too high or too low.
Since many older adults suffer from arthritis, a lightweight and multipurpose reaching tool can aid with chores and reduce unnecessary physical exertion.
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Your senior years aren’t called the golden years for nothing. With a few lifestyle changes and a positive attitude, these years may just be your most exciting yet.