News | September 8, 2008

Three Guidelines To Follow For Healthy Aging From Homewatch CareGivers

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--September marks a major annual opportunity for all caregivers and their families across the US to promote wellness among older Americans during Healthy Aging Month. "Healthy aging requires a reorientation, a more positive focus on longevity," said Leann Reynolds, president, Homewatch CareGivers. "Healthy aging means preventing age-related diseases through improved nutrition, new exercise habits and increased socialization. September is a time of renewal, and it's more than back-to-school. For the aging, it can be getting back to a more rewarding, positive lifestyle."

The MacArthur Foundation Study of Successful Aging, an in-depth research of the aging process, explains that many of the complaints people attribute to feeling "old" actually result from their lifestyle: not enough exercise, poor nutrition and minimal socializing.

There are over 35 million Americans aged 65 or older in the US. In the past century, the American life-span has increased by 30 years. Yet, wellness doesn't just relate to elder care. Boomers, and those aged over 50 could reach retirement age in worse shape than their predecessors, with individuals potentially in poorer health than current retirees and possibly increasing health care costs for society, according to the Health and Retirement Study, a nationwide survey of more than 20,000 Americans over age 50 that began in 1992.

Homewatch CareGivers recommends caregivers and their families or loved ones focus on three areas to promote a healthier lifestyle:

Increase physical activity

Exercise shouldn't only be part of the daily routine; it should be sprinkled into daily activities. Focus on exercises that are motions repeated in every day habits, like lifting light objects, sitting up straight and walking short distances. Going to the local museum, taking a walk in the park or visiting neighbors gives you an excuse to get out of the house, exercise muscles and stimulate the brain. Adding 2,000 steps per day can change a lifetime of bad exercise habits.

Encourage a nutritious lifestyle

Spend time creating an interesting and healthy meal plan. Make sure a loved one has the opportunity for input and originality. Take the time to try at least one new fruit or vegetable a week. Visit local farmer's markets. Research local healthy restaurants for a treat out.

Promote mental stimulation

Staying mentally active not only keeps one's memory sharp, it also is proven to decrease depression. Learning a new language, joining a class at the YMCA or even meeting new people will invigorate a boring daily routine and contribute to elevating one's self-worth. Andrew Weil, physician and author of Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, says that to age successfully and positively one should, "…spend more time in the company of people who have lifestyle habits you want to develop, and think about the rewards that aging can bring."

About Homewatch CareGivers

Founded in 1980, Homewatch CareGivers is the largest, most experienced international provider of full-service in-home care for people of all ages, including seniors, children, veterans, the chronically ill, and those recovering from medical procedures. Caregivers are triple-screened and continually trained and supervised by healthcare professionals to provide reliable, compassionate, and highly skilled services in companion, personal and comprehensive care. In-home care services are personalized for each client and customized care plans are administered through an international network of 100 franchise owners with 165 territories which includes 9 international owners with 18 international territories. Each office is locally owned and dedicated to ensuring quality of life for clients and peace of mind for their loved ones. Call 1-800-777-9770 or visit for franchise, company and caregiver information.

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