By Valoy Reese, RN
Fight afternoon fatigue: Fatigue is a common problem among older adults, especially after lunch. Having a glass of water and a high-antioxidant food like a prune can revitalize the body and stimulate the mind. Prunes are good for regularity also.
Exercise from the neck up: Keeping the brain active and fit is imperative to the health of older adults. Not only does it stave off memory-loss illnesses like Alzheimer's and dementia, but it also fosters executive function. Try word games and recall exercises. For example, find 5 red objects during a walk in the neighborhood and recall them when back home. Or use your phone to take pictures of the things that interest you. This is a great way to learn that new, smarter-than-us, phone.
Pole walk: Walking poles allow for more balanced mobility than walkers or canes. Walking with poles engages the muscles of the upper torso, which increases upper-body strength and cardiovascular endurance. Consult a physician before making the switch to poles from other assistive devices.
Dine in duos: Those who share meals with others eat less than those who eat alone. This is an easy weight-loss tactic and one that fosters social interaction and engagement. While this is easy for those aging in community, older adults aging at home can plan to have meals with family or friends at least several times a week. Or plan a picnic in the park for a variation of the same place.
Break routine: Routine limits brain stimulation. Introduce new foods or new ways of eating the same food. For example, replace canned peaches with freshly sliced ones. Also, try taking a different route to the grocery store or shopping center.