Just because you’re older, it doesn’t mean you can’t live well. Many older people live independently in their own homes but need a bit of help and encouragement to live well and enjoy life. Simple changes to your lifestyle can make all the difference, and with regular support and encouragement, living well is more than possible. Here are our top tips on living well for older people, and indeed, for people of all ages.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at absorbing vitamins and minerals, and some medications can also reduce absorption. This makes it even more important to eat well, including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The good news is that frozen or tinned fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, and they’re easier to prepare! There are studies suggesting that older people need more protein to help with muscle loss, so make sure your diet includes meat. If you are a vegetarian, eat more dairy goods, and if you’re a vegan, increase your protein intake with beans, nuts, seeds, soya and tofu.
As part of their everyday support, our Aunties and Uncles are happy to help you prepare delicious, balanced meals that will keep you living well and enjoying life.
However old you are (or feel!), when it comes to exercise, the phrase “use it or lose it” is key. People over the age of 65 are the most sedentary age group, but this sedentary lifestyle brings huge health risks such as falls, obesity and an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, dementia and stroke. By staying active, you’re more likely to stay healthy, which means you’ll be able to live independently and enjoy your social life, such as going out with family and friends.
Maybe you’ve been given physiotherapy exercises to do but aren’t doing them every day. Or perhaps you’d like to do more exercise but need encouragement. That’s not a problem, ask your Artisan Auntie or Uncle to remind you. If you want to go on a little walk, they’ll come with you and go at your pace, giving you the confidence to do more when you’re on your own.
Loneliness is a huge problem for older people, and chronic loneliness has been shown to have negative effects on physical health. This can include memory loss and the onset of dementia, as well as a reduced immune system. Older people are more likely to live alone and be less mobile, making them less able to get out and about to join groups and take part in social activities. It’s estimated that over half a million older people can regularly go five or six days without speaking to anyone. Sometimes all people need is companionship, and that’s where Artisan Aunties and Uncles can step in.
We don’t just provide practical help around the house. When providing our Home Help & Companionship Care, our Aunties and Uncles understand that their main purpose is to be there for you. They’re happy to take on domestic tasks such as cleaning and tidying, helping with the washing, taking you shopping, but they’re also happy to just sit down with you for a cup of tea and a chat.
Like many less mobile and vulnerable people, you may have got out of the habit of taking trips out over the lockdowns. If so, this is bound to have had negative consequences for your mental and physical health. If you miss getting out and about – whether that’s going out for a coffee, lunch, to watch a film at the cinema, or for a browse around the shops or a garden centre – one of our Aunties or Uncles would be delighted to take you and share the experience with you. They will also be happy to take you out for day trips, such as a day at the seaside or visiting old friends. Whatever helps you to enjoy life more and live well. Don’t forget your mask!