Thanks to Healthy Aging Month, the aging experts at Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Connecticut have offered tips on the top three ways seniors can stay smart, safe and independent.
"Physical, cognitive and environmental factors have the greatest impact on quality of life as we age," said Ron D'Aquila, RN, President and Co-Founder of ALS. "Preventative measures can delay or avoid illness, injury and premature decline."
D'Aquila suggests a healthy eating plan (you should still adhere to any necessary dietary restrictions). Reducing or eliminating sugar intake can help with inflammation and iron-rich foods such as spinach, beans, dried fruit and meats will help increase energy and avoid iron deficiency.
In addition to an annual physical, D'Aquila urges regular exams to maintain sight, hearing and oral health. Untreated hearing loss is linked to impaired memory and dementia, anxiety, avoidance of social situations and increased risk to personal safety. You should schedule a hearing test at the first signs of hearing trouble.
D'Aquila recommends at least three hours of exercise each week to maintain functional fitness. Specific exercises that can improve balance and leg strength are heel, toe and leg lifts. Additionally, practice walking heel to toe, standing up from a sitting position without using hands and do wall push-ups. Exercise helps improve emotional and cognitive health as well. Other great activities to boost brain power are skill games, puzzles, and new learning opportunities.