The term ‘self care’ is popular with the youngergeneration: the concept of taking time to do healthy things for yourself, both mentally and physically. Unfortunately, this idea can seem foreign to an older generation who may place emphasis on ideals of self sacrifice and accepting poor conditions. In addition, commercial industry has taken ahold of the concept of self care and promoted it as a form of consumerism and treating yourself to expensive products. True self care is based in healthy practices and attitudes, regardless of your income or how much you spend on relaxation or enhancement products. Self care is aptly named, as it truly means taking care of yourself.
Seniors have unique struggles in life. Health problems and conditions increase with age. Loneliness may also increase, especially with the added stress of losing loved ones. Seniors carry the heavy burden of acting as caregiver and put undue pressure on themselves to keep this up their whole lives. Poverty is a major issue, especially among women. For these reasons and more, self care is vital for senior health.
Self care does not mean excluding others in the process. Making sure one has the support they need by accessing the resources that others can offer is important. There are many benefits of an in-home caregiver, especially for those living with chronic pain or ongoing struggles, such as heart disease, a lack of mobility, diabetes, Dementia, or Alzheimer’s. The comprehensive, individualized care plans provided by a top quality company like Integracare can offer nursing care, physiotherapy, massage therapy, wound care, live-in caregiving, palliative care, advocacy, ancillary support services, and more.
A proper diet and regular exercise are essential cornerstones of both health and self care. A diet that emphasizes whole grains, vegetables and fruits, lean meats, low fat dairy, legumes, nuts, and seeds, flavoured with healthy fats, spices, and herbs is great for all ages. There are many benefits to a fully plant-based diet as well. Doctors recommend adults and seniors get thirty minutes of exercise a day, and this can include gentle yoga, Tai Chi, water fitness, walking groups, and fitness classes designed with seniors and sociability in mind.
Self care also means taking time for yourself and doing things you enjoy. Retired individuals may find themselves at a loss of how to spend their time. Picking up new hobbies and skills through classes, internet learning, or joining a community group is an excellent opportunity to keep the mind and body active. Evidence suggests continuing to learn and practice new things, as well as physical activity, can help delay the onset of symptoms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Hobbies, exercise groups, and other activities in the community also improve the quality of senior social life and decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness. Spending time with family, friends, and meeting new people is important for mental wellness.
Finally, treating yourself to special things one and awhile can certainly be a part of self care, but this does not require breaking the bank. A vacation for those with the means can be lovely;however,enjoying simpler pleasures consistently can be more enjoyable overall– and it does not come with any spending guilt. This could be treating yourself to tea time with friends, some quality all-natural products to use at home, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, a new reading pillow and blanket, plants and flowers to freshen the home, or new cookware to make meal prep easier.
Self care is meant to be personalized, so take some time to figure out which things relax, refresh, and satisfy you, and increase these activities in your life.