Posted by:  The Elder Law Practice Area

Jan. 1 is right around the corner. That means the opportunity for a fresh start will soon present itself. In 2020, set a goal that focuses on bettering your overall health, both physically and mentally. It’s easy to let a resolution get brushed under the rug, but it’ll be a priority if it’s something you’re truly passionate about changing.  Here are a few New Year’s resolutions we suggest considering:

Keep Moving
Physical activity can be safe and healthy for older adults — even if you have heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis! In fact, many of these conditions get better with mild to moderate physical activity. Exercises such as tai chi, water aerobics, walking, and stretching can also help you control your weight, build your muscles and bones, and improve your balance, posture, and mood. Check with your insurance plan to see if you are eligible for the SilverSneakers program, which can provide access to local fitness centers.

Explore New Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, but it also benefits your own health. It provides a sense of accomplishment, increases self-confidence and brings fulfillment to life. It also connects you with like-minded individuals, which is great for your mental well-being. This year, find an organization to get involved with to help your neighborhood and reap the health benefits.

Revive an Old Friendship
It’s not always easy remaining close to friends who don’t live right down the street. But there are dozens of resources you can use to rekindle old friendships. Make a telephone call, send an email or reach out to one of your childhood buddies via Facebook or another social media platform. Make it your goal to keep in touch and possibly schedule a get-together in the near future.

Spend More Time With the Grandkids
Most seniors can agree that there is nothing quite as special as spending time with the grandchildren. But you shouldn’t only meet up for special occasions. Staying connected with your grandkids on a regular basis will strengthen the bond between you and keep the entire family closer together. This year, consider gathering with your loved ones every other week to catch up.

Ask for Help
About 1 in 5 older adults suffers from depression or anxiety. Some possible signs of depression can be lingering sadness, tiredness, loss of appetite or pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed. You may also have difficulty sleeping, worry, irritability, and wanting to be alone. If you have any of these signs for more than two weeks, talk to your healthcare provider and reach out to friends and family.

Revisit an Old Pastime
When was the last time you spent time enjoying that favorite hobby of yours? At some point in the New Year, consider breaking out the old needle and yarn, fishing rod, or bottle cap collection you used to be so passionate about. You may even consider introducing it to your grandchild so you have something new to bond over!

Give Your Brain a Workout
You know that physical activity is important but giving your brain a “workout” is just as crucial. Challenging your brain regularly keeps your cognitive skills sharp and reduces your chance of experiencing memory loss. This year make time to play games that’ll force your mind to work in overdrive. Read. Do crossword puzzles. Try Sudoku. Socializing also gives your brain a boost, so join a bridge club or a discussion group at your local library or senior center. Or take a course at your local community college — some offer free classes for adults 65 and older.

Contact Your Medical Provider
You should schedule an annual wellness visit with your healthcare provider around your birthday month to discuss health screenings and any changes in your advance directives. Screening tests might include checking your vision, hearing, and for other conditions such as breast cancer, colon cancer, or osteoporosis. At each visit, talk to your provider about all the medications you’re taking, and whether or not you still need them. Find out if you should be getting any new or booster immunizations/shots.

Our firm is dedicated to helping seniors and their loved ones work through issues and implement sound legal planning to address them. If we can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (630) 221-1755.