It seems that health has been a topic not far from everyone’s lips of late, with reports surfacing almost daily of a crisis within the NHS, and the flu virus spreading fast.
While these reports are undoubtedly concerning, there are plenty of small things you can do to make 2018 a healthier, happier year, whatever your age. In this post, the team at Careium share their top ten health tips for starting 2018 the right way…
Get some fresh air each day where you can
Research has revealed that five minutes in the great outdoors each day can help to improve mental health. Understandably, venturing outdoors can sometimes prove challenging for those with mobility issues, but getting some fresh air doesn’t have to mean taking a long walk each day. Outdoor activity could include putting a chair in your back garden to observe nature, or undertaking some light gardening work in order to motivate you to step outside each day. If you do feel able to go out on a walk, but worry about going it alone, you can view our brochure to find out about our range of support solutions, including our GPS tracker and personal pendant.
Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables
You probably feel like you’ve heard this one many times before, but research released only last year suggested instead of the recommended five a day, adults should be eating ten portions of fruit and veg to help reduce the risk of disease and early death. You may wonder how you’ll be able to fit this in, particularly if you’re on a budget or have a small appetite, but adding a couple of portions of frozen fruit to your breakfast and two portions at lunch and dinner means you’re well on your way
Make your home as comfortable and easy to navigate as possible
The third of our health tips is to make your home as risk free as possible. If you have found yourself or a loved one falling at home recently, making sure the home is as safe as it can be is important if you’re to minimise injury. Remove any items that make entrances tight to walk through, and ensure there are no trip hazards on the floor. A lifeline personal alarm can help give you or your loved ones peace of mind should you fall while undertaking daily tasks. The alarm activates a connection to our monitoring service at the push of a button, so support can be easily accessed should you need it.
Keep your brain active
Whilst it’s important to keep your body active where possible, it’s also good to ensure you are exercising your brain. This is especially important if you live alone and have limited company to keep you stimulated. Do a crossword or puzzle each day, write a blog or diary, paint a picture or challenge yourself to learn something new.
Try to make sure you have company each week
Don’t underestimate the importance of seeing people and interacting regularly. It could be as simple as chatting to a neighbour as they unload their shopping from the car or making a phone call to a family member to find out how their day was. If you have a carer who visits, making small talk while they assist you is a great way to chat. Even if you find you are not able to easily leave the house to meet people, writing a letter to an old friend can help to lift your mood. If you find you are not able to easily perform daily tasks such as using the telephone, products such as the big button phone can help to make life easier. Volunteering for a few hours is also a great way to get regular face to face interaction.
Review your diet
It can be easy when it comes to your diet to have a routine and stick to it, especially if you find yourself eating alone often and unable to go shopping regularly. As well as ensuring you’re eating enough fruit and veg, it’s important to ensure you get a good balance of food groups and nutritional foods. Listening to your body is crucial, so if you feel tired or bloated after eating certain foods, jot down when you ate them and your symptoms. If you notice a pattern, consider swapping certain items and consulting a Doctor. If you find yourself not able to buy fresh produce regularly, don’t forget most supermarkets offer fruit and veg in the freezer, meaning you can stock up and not lose out.
Ensure you’re getting enough sleep
Life can be busy, and sleep deprivation can cause many unpleasant side effects. If you worry about a loved one purposefully wandering or falling at night time, a bed occupancy sensor, movement sensor or property exit solution can help put your mind at rest. Having a bath or a warm decaffeinated drink can help to settle you before bed.
Wave goodbye to bad habits
We all have our vices, and the likelihood is you’ve heard this one many times before. It’s not too late to give up smoking or heavy drinking though, whatever your age. If you’re finding it hard to give up a habit, look online to find support services available and find a new, healthier hobby such as writing, sewing or gardening as a distraction.
Don’t dismiss symptoms
This is arguably one of the most important health tips on our list. Though we regularly hear reports that the NHS is under strain, it’s important not to ignore any symptoms that are concerning you. Make a doctor’s appointment if you suspect something may be wrong, and don’t forget that if you’re aged between 40-74, it’s worthwhile getting a free health check with the NHS. You’ll be able to discuss your health and will be given advice to maintain or improve your overall health.
Consider getting a pet or looking after an animal
Having a pet can help to provide company, companionship and reduce stress. If you are able to provide a pet a safe, loving home they can prove a great addition to your life. If you are unable to walk a dog or care for an animal, consider offering to look after a friend or relative’s pet during the daytime, or if you don’t know anyone with a pet, consider looking at websites such as borrow my doggy to see if you can find a companion to borrow from time to time.
To find out more about lifeline support, contact us here or call us on 0300 333 6511.