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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

Summary: New Year’s resolutions to help hold seniors accountable. These Resolutions include making new friends, making better dietary choices, learning a new skill, making time for exercise, and improving home safety. Estimated Read Time: 4 min

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Table of Contents:

  1. Make New Friends
  2. Make Better Dietary Choices
  3. Learn a New Skill
  4. Commit Time to Exercise
  5. Improve Home Safety
  6. Being Intentional in 2024 Is Essential to Your Health

As you map out your New Year’s resolutions for 2024, it is easy to reflect on the negatives of the prior year and how you hope to turn those negatives into positives throughout the upcoming months. As we enter into 2024, however, it is important to also reflect on the positives and reward yourself for another accomplished year around the sun.

New Year’s resolutions are a way of holding yourself accountable for the things you hope to accomplish throughout the year. When determining your resolutions for the New Year, it is essential to focus on attainable goals that help promote your overall health and quality of life. While we understand resolutions will vary between individuals, below we lay out a list of 5 New Year’s Resolutions all seniors should consider in 2024.

Make New Friends

It is not uncommon for seniors to experience loneliness and social isolation as they age. However, it is never too late to make a new friend or rekindle old friendships that have drifted apart over the years. In 2024, it is time to take your social life back into your own hands and create lasting friendships.

In today’s world, social media makes it easier than ever to connect. However, if technology is not your forte, there are plenty of options available to help you get out and socialize with your peers. Some of the most common ways to make new friends include:

  • Joining your local community center
  • Enrolling in continuing education
  • Attending social events
  • Joining support groups
  • Going on a date
  • Volunteer work

There are many pros to making a new friend in your golden years, and as you age it is essential to have a friend by your side. Friendship is not just an essential aspect of your mental health, but it also improves your overall wellbeing, extends the longevity of your life, and puts you at a decreased risk for cognitive disorders such as dementia.

Make Better Dietary Choices

Consuming fewer calories with increased nutrients is an essential step to take in your diet as you age. Each year during your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, your healthcare provider should speak with you about the importance of eating healthy and provide you with tips on how to make better food choices. Here are a few tips you should follow when beginning the process of eating healthier and more balanced meals:

  • Add a veggie to each meal
  • Split your dish when eating out
  • Stray away from heavily salted meals
  • Ensure you eat at least one “green” with each meal
  • Replace sugary snacks with fruits
  • Ensure you receive the proper amount of protein each day
  • Reduce your dairy consumption
  • And more!

We all know we could make better choices when it comes to food, but we’re stuck in the cycle of “waiting for Monday” to make it happen. 2024 is the perfect time to set your sights on your health and focus more on the foods we are putting into our bodies.

Unfortunately, the convenience of fast food and microwaved meals seem appealing to seniors. Especially those with mobility disabilities or those living alone who do not see the point in making a home cooked meal for one each night.  However, these are the individuals who could often benefit most from a healthy change in their diet.

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To help combat this, seniors can look into meal delivery programs like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, and others. These programs provide all the ingredients to create healthy meals for one with little prep and cooking effort. If budget constraints play a factor in arranging healthier meals, it may be helpful to look into your local Meals on Wheels program.

Meals on Wheels will never deny you services based on financial hardship. So, there’s always an option to receive a healthy meal if this program is available in your area.

However, Meals on Wheels may not be available in all locations. Thus, it is important to have other options is budget is a concern in allowing you to eat healthier meals. Additional resources for a nutritious meal may include:

  • Local food bank/food pantry
  • Religious institutions in your area
  • Community Kitchens
  • Family Services
  • EBT

Regardless of your financial situation, there are several options available to help you receive a nutritious meal.

When breaking it down, making the switch to healthier alternatives doesn’t have to be a hassle. Switch from cookies to fruit, refined grains to whole grain, and choose lean meats over the fattier options. Simple changes like these can make large impacts on your health in no time.

Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill is an essential resolution to have in 2024. Learning something new each day can help stimulate your mind and reduce the inevitable cognitive decline that comes with aging. The satisfaction of learning something new can also help you manage depression and boost your overall morale.

Learning a new skill in 2024 does not have to be a difficult task. Examples of new skills to master include:

  • Learning a foreign language
  • Taking a dance class
  • Picking up a new hobby
  • Learning to cook a new recipe

Learning a new skill can benefit you in many ways. For example, learning a new language can help you connect with groups of individuals whom you may have never had the opportunity to meet. It also helps your cognitive abilities and keeps your mind sharp.

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Taking a dance class allows you to become active and provides exercise while enjoying your time in a class with your peers and learning a new skill.

Picking up a new hobby can be as simple as taking time to read a book during the day, knitting, sewing, and others. These skills help exercise your hand mobility and also stimulate your brain.

Similarly, learning a new recipe can help you connect with others, keep your brain active, and can be enjoyable to share with your family.

When learning a new skill, the possibilities are endless. Often, your local community center, library, rec center, or senior center will over a variety of classes for individuals looking to learn new skills. These classes can teach a variety of tasks such as sewing, musical instruments, computer knowledge, sports, dance, swimming, and more.

These centers often also host game nights such as Bridge, Bingo, and other easy to understand games. This will not only help you learn a new skill, but also allow you to have comradery among your peers.

Regardless of the new skill you choose to learn, the implications of learning a new skill can be tremendous to your overall health. In a study completed by the Association for Psychological Science reveal that learning new skills can combat memory loss by as much as 60% in aging adults. More strenuous skills such as learning a new language can increase your memory to that of someone up to 30 years younger.

Afterall, we are always striving to be better today than we were the day before, and learning a new skill can help accomplish that task.

Commit Time to Exercise

Your health is one of the most important aspects of your day-to-day life. Taking charge of your health in the new year is a resolution that many make but few follow through with. The easiest way to commit to your health is by setting aside at least 30 minutes for daily exercise.

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Some may become wary of committing to exercise in older age as they fear a broken bone, torn ligaments, or even minor sprains can be much more painful the older you are. However, there are several low-effort exercises that can impact your overall health in large ways. These exercises can be broken down into three main categories:

  • Aerobic activity
  • Muscle strength training
  • Balance training

Incorporating an exercise routine that includes these three categories into your daily life will drastically help improve your physical appearance, reduce blood pressure, and increase muscle tone.

Examples of aerobic activity include:

  • Taking a brisk walk or jog
  • Water aerobics
  • Bicycling
  • Dancing
  • Jumping rope

Examples of muscle strength training include:

  • Lifting weights
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Push ups and squats
  • Incline walking

Examples of balance training include:

  • Lunges
  • Single leg touch
  • Lateral weight shifting
  • Single leg squats

If you do not feel ready to set aside 30 minutes at a time, many opt for a 15-minute morning and 15-minute afternoon workout to try and reduce the impacts to their body at first. Setting aside this time can help improve your overall mental and physical health.

Improve Home Safety

Home safety is a task that often falls on the back burner. However, having a safe home means you can life a happier and more care-free lifestyle without having to worry about the risks of living in your own home. According to the CDC, there are over 14 million falls each year among adults 65 and older. If you do the math, that is also 1 in 4. This is a huge safety risk that can be combatted with just a few home safety measures. Home safety can look different depending on your situation.

For many, adding support railings or a chair to your shower are the first steps to improve home safety. As you age, falls become more and more dangerous to your overall health and wellbeing. With this being said, preventing falls should be the number one item on your list in 2024. The best way to do this is to eliminate the risks wherever possible.

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In addition to preventing falls, often times, the next most important step in improving home safety is to remove unnecessary stair climbing. If you currently live on the second floor of your home, it may be time to rethink your living situation and relocate to a vacant first-floor bedroom if possible. Reducing stair climbing can help prevent you from requiring a knee or hip replacement due to the daily wear and tear. Reducing the use of stairs can also prevent hip fractures that are caused by sideways falls down the stairs. Each year over 300,000 adults ages 65 and older experience hip fractures and more than ¾ of these fractures are women.

Additionally, investing in a home safety system like Life Alert can help ease the minds of your loved ones who may not be able to make it to you in the case of an emergency. Life Alert systems are designed to be accessible for you and allow you to receive emergency help in a moment’s notice.

Being Intentional in 2024 Is Essential to Your Health

Regardless of the resolutions you set in 2024, it is essential to be intentional with your goals. Setting goals and sticking to them can have positive health implications that can lead to a longer, happier, and healthier life.

An essential part of achieving positive health implications in this new year is to visit your doctor each year to ensure your year is as healthy as possible. It’s important to speak to your doctor about any concerns you may be having as you do not want those issues to progress as the year goes on.

Once you become eligible for Medicare, it is important to select the right coverage and take advantage of your annual wellness visit to discuss these health-related concerns you may be having with your doctor. Complete our online rate form to compare Medicare health insurance coverage options online today to ensure your coverage meets your needs in the New Year!

Sources

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Hip Fractures Among Older Adults, CDC. Accessed January 2024.
    https://www.cdc.gov/falls/hip-fractures.html
  2. Balance Exercises, Mayo Clinic. Accessed January 2024.
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/balance-exercises/art-20546836
  3. Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors, NCOA. Accessed January 2024.
    https://www.ncoa.org/article/healthy-eating-tips-for-seniors
Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare educator serving as the Editor of MedicareFAQ.com. Upon completing her Communications degree from Ohio University, Kayla dedicated her time to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare. With her extensive background as a Licensed Insurance Agent, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her writing.
Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Manager
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Manager for MedicareFAQ. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.

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