Top tips for older adults to enhance their life quality

By Jennifer Geske

As we age, it is important to make time to focus on our health and happiness. From exercising more to spending time with friends and family, there are many steps that seniors can take to improve their overall quality of life.

The Preserve, a senior living community in Fort Myers, specializes in caring for seniors in assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. For seniors in these levels of care, taking every step toward personal growth is crucial, as it creates positive life changes. A better quality of life can lead to growth in terms of physical and mental health and can create overall positivity for older adults.

According to a 2023 study by the National Library of Medicine, 34% of seniors reported having a low quality of life. So, what can you do to enhance your life?

Stay Active

With spring on the horizon, now is the perfect time to take your exercise routine outdoors. Many indoor exercises can be done outside, including tai-chi and yoga, which are great for improving balance. Balance exercises are beneficial for seniors as they help reduce the risk of falls, the leading cause of injury among older adults nationwide.

Another option for outdoor exercise includes built-in socialization: going to a local park. Many local parks have walking trails, and some walking trails have exercise equipment for public use with easy-to-understand instructions. This equipment focuses on several key fitness areas, including cardio, balance and mobility. Common types of equipment include parallel bars, leg presses and sit-up stations. If you have issues with joint pain, consider water aerobics, a low-impact exercise that can benefit strength, cardio and arthritis.

If you are not big on exercise, start out slow. Incorporate wrist weights into activities that you enjoy, like cooking, baking, gardening or doing crafts. That way, you are doing something that you love, while also slowly incorporating exercise into your routine. Other ways to promote movement are to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park farther away at the grocery store for extra walking.

Exercise can contribute to lowering the risk of developing health conditions like dementia or heart disease, and can improve bone health, balance, sleep and mental health. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, and twice a week, focus on strengthening exercises.

Socialization is Key

Mental Health America reports that over 2 million seniors suffer from depression. The reasons for this vary, including illnesses, widowhood and health care costs. While the best way to treat depression is to see a mental health professional, you can take your own steps toward a better life and mental wellness.

One way to combat depression is through socialization, which provides many health benefits for physical and mental wellness. Interacting with others promotes sharper memory skills, lowers stress, reduces risk of chronic illnesses and provides a sense of purpose, which all contribute to living a longer life.

Senior living communities, such as The Preserve, are great at including residents in activities, offering a full calendar with classes, crafts, movies and other events. These gatherings allow a safe space for residents to join a group of like-minded people and make friends.

While there are plenty of ways to improve quality of life, exercise and socialization are two of the most attainable ways for you to kickstart your journey to self-improvement as you age.

Jennifer Geske, Assisted Living Clinical Director of The PreserveAbout the author

Jennifer Geske is the assisted living clinical director at The Preserve in Fort Myers.


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