5 Habits Seniors should kick
Updated: Sep 10
We all know that over the years, it can be easy to develop bad habits, but it is never too late to start making a difference by living a healthier lifestyle.
As we age, we can experience mobility issues, cognitive decline and chronic diseases. Individuals who have healthy habits in their early days often have less health disruptions and become healthier seniors. Healthier lifestyle choices can boost your wellbeing, increase longevity, and prolong your independence.
1. Smoking & Vaping
We start with smoking because it is so obvious that contributes to lung cancer, heart disease, strokes, asthma, diabetes, respiratory problems and so many more ailments. Smoking can also cause ineffective treatments and speed up the progression of disease, which raises the risk of hospital readmissions among seniors.
Pro Tip: If you are a smoker the quitnowbc website has some amazing resources available for residents of British Columbia. QuitNow is a program that is for free to help British Columbians looking to kick the habit of tobacco and e-cigarette use. This program is presented by the British Columbia Lung Foundation on behalf of the Government of British Columbia. At the QuitNow website, will help you build your Quit Plan, get one-on-one support by phone or Live Chat, receive quit tips by text or email, and get support from their online community. You can track your quit journey and view your statistics, like when you reach a smoke- or vape- free milestone.
2. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sporadic sleeping patterns can be common in the elderly, and that bad habit could contribute to a whole slough of health related issues such as low metabolism, heart disease, dementia, or insomnia. Encourage your loved ones to follow a healthy bedtime routine and try get at least seven to nine hours of rest every night.
Set up a sleeping schedule
It's ok to nap, but keep it short.
Keep your sleeping area for sleeping, not for watching t.v, tablets or cell phones.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and electronics prior to bedtime.
Get some exercise during the day.
3. Drinking too much
For many consuming alcohol in moderation can be relaxing, induce euphoria and reduce stress. However excessive consumption of alcohol can cause disinhibition, disruptive sleeping patterns, and chronic diseases such as liver disease.
If you are consuming alcohol, do it responsibly. Avoid binge drinking or using alcohol to self medicate.
4. Being Isolated
Being isolated may cause older adults to be exposed to loneliness and depression, which in turn can be at higher risk of cognitive decline.
Positive emotional, physical and mental health requires us to get out and engage with the world. Everyone, not just the elderly can benefit from having social stimulation. Socialization can be a part of a healthier lifestyle by promoting physical activity and mental engagement.
Calling friends and family, joining a club, or even heading out to do a little window shopping are great ways to combat being isolated. Seek help from your health care team if you are feeling isolated or depressed.
5. Not Being Active Enough
Living a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to mobility issues, poor bone health and chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Not being active can also contribute to being isolated. Getting out for a walk, joining a gym or club, working in the garden, house work or taking dance lessons are great ways to get moving.
Pacific Coast Health Services recommends contacting your healthcare team prior to making any lifestyle changes, including dietary and exercise. Always follow the advice of your doctor.
From Victoria BC to Nanaimo BC, Pacific Coast Health Services provides home healthcare for seniors and persons with disabilities. From respite care & 24-hour care to dementia care & advanced foot care, our care line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - 365 days a year. To book your free in-home healthcare assessment.