What Are Some “Healthy” Habits Older Adults Should Avoid?

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“Good Habits” that Negatively Impact Senior Health

It seems like every day there’s a new study on what’s good for a senior’s health and what isn’t. And often, seniors adopt habits they think are good for them that turn out to contribute to other health problems. Here are a few “good” habits that could have a negative effect on senior health and wellness. 

Eating Low-Fat & Prepackaged “Healthy” Food 

Foods labeled low-fat or fat-free often have more sugar, salt, and chemicals added to make them taste better. Prepared frozen “healthy” meal options often have high sodium content and may not be sufficiently filling, so your aging loved one could end up snacking on unhealthy options or eating two full meals. If your loved one relies on prepackaged food because cooking has become challenging, a home caregiver can provide the support needed to maintain a healthy diet. 

Some seniors need assistance preparing nutrient-dense meals. Homecare services providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Taking Vitamins & Supplements 

Most seniors take a variety of vitamins and supplements, but taking too much of certain vitamins and minerals, such as B6, iron, and magnesium, can actually lead to serious health consequences for older women, and too much vitamin E can lead to a greater risk of prostate cancer in older men. Although some seniors need to take supplements for various health reasons, eating a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables should supply your loved one with all the nutrients he or she needs. 

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Reston, VA families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties.

Using Hand Sanitizers 

Hand sanitizers kill germs without allowing the immune system to build up a necessary tolerance. When overexposed to antibiotics and sanitizers, some bacteria die, while others multiply and become resistant. These bacteria can take over and cause infections that are more difficult to treat because of the resistance. 

Exercising to the Point of Exhaustion 

Exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle, but consistently exercising beyond personal endurance isn’t necessary and may increase the risk of injury while compromising the immune system. Exercising in moderation is especially important for seniors, as the immune system naturally weakens with age. 

Avoiding Sunlight 

Many seniors avoid the sun altogether to decrease cancer risks, but sunshine offers health benefits like vitamin D production and mood enhancement. A healthier approach would include limiting the time in the sun and using good sunscreen. 

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to help your loved one switch to healthy habits and enjoy a high quality of life. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated elderly home care, Reston, VA, families can turn to Assisting Hands. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. Call us at (703) 783-5758 to create a customized in-home care plan.