Older Americans Month was established in 1963 in order to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our nation. When Older Americans Month was founded, only 17 million living Americans were age 65 and older. At this time, nearly one-third of older Americans lived in poverty, and few programs existed to meet their needs. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to the declaration of May as Senior Citizens Month, the prelude to Older Americans Month.
Across the country, older Americans – a rapidly growing population – are taking part in activities that promote wellness and social connection. Led by the Administration for Community Living and Administration on Aging, Older Americans Month offers the opportunity to hear from, support, and celebrate our nation’s elders. This year’s Older Americans Month theme, “Engage at Every Age”, emphasizes the importance of being active and involved. You are never too old –or too young – to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotion well being.
This May, we at SYNERGY HomeCare Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills want to encourage you to honor the seniors in our community. Take part in activities that help promote senior health and preserve history and memories. The following activities provided by the National Institute on Aging will help you promote health, well being, and independence for your senior parent.
Help Your Aging Parent Take Care of Their Health
Encourage your senior parent to:
- Get recommended health screenings.
- Manage chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and high cholesterol.
- Consult with their healthcare provider about the medications and treatments they receive.
- Reduce risk for brain injuries due to falls and other accidents.
- Limit use of alcohol (some medicines can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol).
- Quit smoking, if they smoke.
- Get enough sleep (generally, 7-8 hours each night).
Encourage Your Senior Parent to Eat Healthy Foods
A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes. Encourage your senior parent to:
- Eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, and poultry, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
- Limit solid fats, sugar, and salt.
- Drink water.
Help Keep Your Senior Parent Physically Active
Being physically active – through regular exercise, household chores, or other activities – has many benefits. It can help your senior parent:
- Keep and improve their strength.
- Have more energy.
- Improve their balance, which can help prevent falls.
- Prevent or delay heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.
- Perk up their mood and reduce depression.
Low-impact exercises for older adults include:
- Brisk walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, and biking, which can increase your senior parent’s breathing and heart rate.
- Strength exercises can help strengthen your senior parent’s muscles.
- Balance exercises, which help prevent falls.
- Flexibility exercises stretch muscles and can help your aging parent’s body stay limber. Check out our previous blog post about the benefits of flexibility and stretching exercises.
Encourage Activities to Help Your Aging Parent Keep Their Mind Engaged
Being intellectually engaged may benefit your senior parent’s cognitive health. People who engage in meaningful activities, like volunteering or hobbies, say they feel happier and healthier. Encourage your aging parent to participate in activities such as:
- Reading books and magazines.
- Playing board, card, and memory games.
- Listening to music.
Help Your Senior Parent Stay Connected
Connecting with other people through social activities and community programs can keep your senior parent’s brain active, and help them feel less isolated and more engaged. Help your parent stay connected by encouraging them to:
- Visit with family and friends.
- Call family, friends, and loved ones on the phone.
- Participate in social activities.
SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills can provide your aging parent with quality care to help your senior parent live a healthy, fulfilling, and independent lifestyle. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills in-home caregivers can provide your senior parent with top-notch home care assistance, which includes:
Errands and Transportation Support
- Incidental transportation
- Schedule planning and assistance
- Errand services (grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, etc.)
- Complete meal preparation
- Assistance with meal planning
- Mealtime feeding assistance
Light Housekeeping Assistance
- Assistance with light gardening
- Kitchen cleaning and organizing
- Bathroom cleaning and organizing
- Laundry and ironing
Personal Care Assistance
- Dressing and bathing assistance
- Assistance with getting in and out of bed and chairs
- Assistance with getting to and from the restroom
- Assistance with incontinence or adult briefs
- Friendly and supporting conversation
- Help with planning social activities
- Light exercise encouragement
- Dependable and reliable service
- Communication with family members
- Maintaining a care journal
- Rotating caregivers
If your senior parent is in need of in-home care and support services, call SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, or Anaheim Hills to ensure that they maintain a healthy and independent life in their home. For more information about Older Americans Month, visit www.oam.acl.gov.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills
SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is the name you can trust in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange and Placentia for personal home care. SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. SYNERGY HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at http://www.synergyhomecare.com/agencies/ca/anaheim-hills/ca25. The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 714- 706-1613 and [email protected].