September is Healthy Aging Month, and we here at Piedmont HomeHealth wanted to take a moment to support this observance. The official observance was started about 20 years ago by Carol Worthington, directory of Healthy Aging, as a way to promote the positive aspects
of aging and encourage older adults to improve their physical, mental, social and financial well-being.
Maintaining good health as we age is important for many reasons. Healthy people have stronger immune systems, making it easier to fend off viruses and other illnesses. And we all want to be strong and healthy enough to play with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, to enjoy hobbies and even travel in our retirements.
We talk a lot in our blog about ways to maintain physical health as you get older, from staying up to date on vaccines to eating a diet full of the important vitamins and minerals to maintain health and immune systems. But something else Healthy Aging Month strongly promotes is positive thinking as you age. Everyone gets older, it’s a fact of life. But the way you approach the aging process has a lot to do with your own mental health and attitude.
Here are a few ways to help maintain a positive attitude and good mental health:
Try Yoga. Any exercise is good for the mind and body, whether it’s walking or playing tennis with your friends. But to really focus on the mental part of exercise, think about giving yoga a try. The meditative aspects help center you, and can help with grief, depression and anxiety. Find some short videos to try at Yoga for Seniors.
Stay Connected. We all love the bonds we make with family, but we also have to remember that our children and grandchildren have busy lives of their own. Friendships, important at any age, are just as important for seniors. If you find yourself alone more often than not, it might be time
to reach out. Join a bridge group, start going to activities at a senior center or look for a book club at your local library to join. Our area has great resources for social activities for seniors, through Senior Resources of Guilford and Senior Services in Winston-Salem.
Talk with your Pastor or Counselor. Grief, loneliness and depression are all things we deal with some time or another in our lives, and as we age it may seem these feelings come up more often. Don’t ignore your feelings. Find someone you trust to talk things out, to help get through the tough times.
Be Positive in Your Conversations. It’s been over 50 years since Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking, but his message rings true still today. The more we complain, the worse we feel. If you catch yourself having negative thoughts or complaining about how things are, pause, take a break, and find a way to look at things in a new light.
In addition to these suggestions, working with Piedmont HomeHealth can go a long way in helping maintain healthy aging practices. By having someone stay with you a few hours a day, you not only have someone there to keep you company, but their assistance can help you continue living the lifestyle you prefer, at home and independent.
If you or a loved one is ready for qualified help during the day, feel free to give us a call at 336-724- 1197.