Why Setting New Year’s Resolutions Can Help Your Loved Ones Age Better

New Year’s resolutions: yet another seasonal cliché or the perfect opportunity to bring about change? We can help you decide!

New Year is right around the corner waiting to unfurl its promises of a fresh start, novel ways and a retrospection of the year nearing an end. The time has come to move forward and achieve the goals we have been yearning to attain. As a caregiver, we constantly strive to motivate the seniors in our lives to be better versions of themselves. This may take the form of finding meaning in life or altering unhealthy ways of living. What better time to implement this than the beginning of a new decade?

Unsurprisingly, having a solid sense of purpose is associated with greater overall well-being and longevity. Research by Harvard Medical School shows that having a purpose in life could reduce stress and inflammation in the body, which may cause cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, a sense of purpose and fulfilment may lead to a longer life as it promotes an active lifestyle and lowers levels of stress, according to the Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine. Researchers from Rush University Chicago, discovered that people with a high sense of life purpose were 2.4 times less likely to develop senile dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

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Setting New Year’s goals with the elderly will give both of you a chance to reflect on the past year and things you wish you had done, reform some undesirable habits or relationships, and revitalise your life. Moreover, keeping resolutions with a loved one allows you to mutually inspire each other, learn from mistakes and realize your potential together.

Here are some goals you may set with the elderly (and don’t forget the 3 Rs: reflect, reform, and revitalize) :

1) Set Health Goals:

The long-term benefits of regular physical activity are no secret. Better metabolism, relaxed muscles, and a stronger immune system are just a few out of many. Set daily goals on your smartphone (or buy a pedometer) to track your steps, and gradually increase the amount of time you are exercising. Go on walks with your near and dear ones for enhanced motivation and companionship, or take your pet for a stroll.

Health is wealth. Set a goal to make the right food choices. Adding more fruits and green vegetables to your diet while cutting down on foods high on sugar is a good option. Your body will thank you in the long run.

2) Revisit an Old Hobby:

Miss the old fishing days? Or the times spent singing away with your friends? Make a goal to do at least one activity you enjoyed back in the day. Introduce your family to it and share your ideas of happiness and hobbies with them. We are sure the trip down the memory lane will bring back fond memories, a smile to your face, and may even strengthen the bond with your loved ones.

3) Expand your social circle

Social isolation is a crippling reality in old-age, but there are many ways to overcome it. This New Year, make it a point to join a club that routinely meets for yoga, cooking or playing light games in the evenings. This will enable you to meet new people from all walks of life. Alongside, getting a pet is also an option to consider. In addition to the camaraderie provided by pets, they are also beneficial for your mental and physical health.