Critter Corner: Why Seniors Should Consider Making New Year’s Resolutions

Dear Ernie and Jannette,

Happy New Year! I typically don’t make New Year’s resolutions, because I know I won’t keep them. But, this year, I want things to be different. I read somewhere that setting resolutions has practical value for older people and can impact your overall health positively. Can you help me pinpoint resolutions that can make my life more meaningful as a senior?

Resa Looshins

Dear Resa

Happy New Year to you too! You are correct in saying that you’re never too old (or too young) to set New Year’s resolutions! If nothing else, resolutions provide us with goals and purpose in our lives.

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In a recent study conducted by Rush University, people who view life with a sense of purpose are two to four times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. And, a study in Journal of the American Medical Association showed that older adults with a solid sense of purpose tend to age more slowly and more gracefully.

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Here are some worthwhile resolutions to consider:

  • To be more healthy: Health is often the number one resolution people focus on, and for good reason! It’s never too late to decide to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Eat natural, healthy foods, and load up on fruits and vegetables. Exercise — make a simple change by vowing to move your body for 30 minutes a day. Meditate for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for improved mental, physical, and spiritual health. Here is a link —http://www.thecominggoldenage.com/Ebook/Journey_Into_Meditation.pdf— for a free e-book on many types of meditation. Read books about personal growth and healing and spirituality.
  • To age gracefully: Growing older has advantages – accept them with grace! Changes to your body can be both physical and mental, and a natural part of aging. Now’s a good time to accept what you can’t change and to celebrate what you can.
  • To make your home safer: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 falls each year. Many of these falls are preventable by keeping key areas of the house, such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and outside, secure. Take time to make your home safer for yourself and your loved ones.
  • To plan for yourself and your family: Use the new year as an opportunity to get your estate planning documents in order, and make sure they are up to date. Educate yourself and your loved one about the cost of long-term care and plan for how to pay for it.
  • To be more social: Senior loneliness and depression are often a reality. Plan more activities with others, and in the process, you may learn new skills and adopt new hobbies, such as quilting or cooking. Another helpful idea is to explore local senior groups or the local senior center.

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This year, consider what you love – pastimes, traditions, favorites – and pledge to do more of whatever it is that brings you happiness. Life is too short.

We hop 2019 is a great year for you. Happy New Year!

Ribbits,


Ernie and Janette

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