With spring around the corner, there is no better time than now to help your parents boost their energy, fine-tune their focus, and adopt a new lifestyle to welcome the spring season after long, gloomy winter days.
Whether that means getting up and moving more, eating healthier, practicing mindfulness, or immersing in nature, there are many steps your parents can take to make the most of this perfect time of the year.
Discover our seven health tips for spring to keep your parents active, energized, and healthy.
Take Full Advantage of Spring: 7 Wellness Tips to Help Seniors Enjoy a Healthy Springtime
7 Senior Wellness & Health Tips for Spring
Here are seven health tips for spring to help your parents take full advantage of the joys of springtime and stay mentally and physically prepared for the warmer season.
Beware of Seasonal Allergies
Despite the blessings of fresh air, blooming flowers, and chirping birds, springtime can be quite a nightmare for seniors with a history of allergic reactions. Contact their doctor immediately if your parents have symptoms like runny noses, sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes.
One health tip for spring to help your parents enjoy the wonderful season is to be mindful of their seasonal allergies. Instead of asking your parents to stay put and only letting them appreciate the beauty of spring through the window pane, help them stay on top of seasonal allergies with the following tips and precautions:
- Wear a mask and sunglasses when going outside.
- Consult their doctors before reaching for OTC medications.
- Make sure to have allergy medications and refills on hand.
- Go outdoors after the rain since the pollen is washed off, just be sure to wear non-slip shoes.
- Install a pollen forecast on the phone to plan the best time to go outdoors.
- Take a shower and wash clothes after getting home.
- Avoid opening the windows during days with high pollen counts.
- Vacuum the floor once a day.
Have a Walk in Nature
Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise for seniors due to a wealth of mental and physical advantages. Going for a 15-minute daily walk helps strengthen muscles, lower the risk of age-related health issues (stroke, diabetes, hypertension), prevent osteoporosis, decrease the risk of falling, and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
As opposed to indoor exercises, which can get mundane at times, walking in nature helps seniors uplift their spirits and cultivate more feelings of happiness and satisfaction while having opportunities to adore the beauty of nature around them. These are believed to effectively contribute to warding off neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Remember that spring can bring a lot of rain, increasing the possibility of falling or tripping. To prevent unfortunate accidents, remind your parents to wear non-slip shoes and avoid walking on wet surfaces when walking outdoors. Joining a walking club is another option to keep your parents active if you can’t join them or they find walking all by themselves boring.
Soak up the Sun
The sun is an abundant (and free!) source of vitamin D, so you might want to consider sunbathing as a part of your parent’s daily routine if they are up for it.
Health experts reveal that spending 10-15 minutes in the sun up to three times a week helps protect seniors from various health problems, such as vitamin D deficiency, hip fractures, colorectal cancer, heart attack, strokes, insomnia, and depression.
Despite impressive benefits, remind your parents to enjoy the sunshine safely, as they are at higher risk of skin cancer. Tips to limit harmful sun’s rays include:
- Wear a big-trimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Cover up with long-sleeved, breathable clothes.
- Apply high-SPF sunscreen and reapply after 2-3 hours.
- Avoid outdoor activities during peak hours.
- Apply moisturizer to prevent dryness.
Diversify Their Food Palate
With spring marking the new beginning of the year, why not renew your parents’ taste buds and diversify their food palate with fresh seasonal produce? Loading up your parents’ plates with the best produce of the season is the best way to lighten up their diets and stay in touch with the spring season.
As a caregiver, preparing nutritious meals and diets for your parents is always important as they are more vulnerable to malnutrition. Eating fresh foods can transform seniors’ health and improve their overall quality of life, such as controlling blood sugar, reducing risks of age-related diseases, promoting dental health, and nourishing skin health.
With winter far behind us, now is the best time for seniors to enjoy a plate full of delicious vegetables and fruits. Here are some examples of in-season produce your parents don’t want to miss when springtime comes:
- Limes and lemons
- Collard greens, kale, and spinach
Check for more spring vegetables and fruits here.
Work in The Garden
After inactive winter days, gardening allows seniors to get active again at low intensity while growing their favorite veggies and fruits right from their backyard.
What are the benefits of gardening activities? Gardening has been widely recognized for its powerful effects on the body and the mind alongside baskets of nutritious, ready-to-serve produce. A study revealed that seniors doing gardening are at a lower risk of dementia by up to 36%.
Digging in the dirt is an excellent workout, empowering seniors to build core strength, boost the immune system, maintain a healthy weight, and improve sleep. After months of effort and dedication, seniors cultivating a garden can manifest a greater sense of accomplishment when harvesting the fruits of their labor.
Increase Water Intake
Your parents are more likely to get up and move in the sun as the weather heats up, so their need for fluid will also increase. With age, their sense of thirst often diminishes, leading to imbalances in the metabolic and digestive systems and functions of vital organs like the heart and kidneys.
To reduce the risk of dehydration, which can be fatal for seniors, remind your parents to drink plenty of water during the day and extra water after exercise. Keep a handy bottle of water by their side whenever venturing out. As a rule of thumb, it is best to drink at least eight cups of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
If your parents don’t like the bland taste of water that much, switch to herbal teas and fresh juices or infuse their water with natural flavors from strawberries, lemons, limes, cucumbers, and mint leaves. Water-rich fruits like tomatoes or watermelon can help them stay hydrated all day.
Clean Up The Medicine Cabinet
Springtime is the occasion to go through the medicine cabinet with your parents. Cleaning up medicine cabinets is one of the health tips for spring to keep seniors healthy and more in tune with the new season.
Devote some time to inspecting, reorganizing, and removing expired medicines and old prescriptions. Be sure to follow up with their current prescriptions. Also, store daily medication in cool and dry places, and don’t forget to stock refills, so your parents won’t run out of medicines in emergencies.
Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for more information and tips on safe disposables.
If you have questions about health tips for spring or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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