There was a time when reaching a 100th birthday was a rare and unusual occurrence. However, recent improvements in medicine and elder care have helped to drastically improve life expectancy, as well as the number of centenarians and supercentenarians (those who live past 110) around the globe. In 2015, the United Nations counted roughly half a million individuals worldwide who were 100 years old or older, and that number is expected to increase eight-fold over the next thirty years. So, what can you do to help a loved one—or yourself—reach their 100th birthday and beyond?
How to Become a Happy Centenarian
1. Eat Well
Your diet is one of the most important factors to aging well. A nutrient-rich meal plan helps you maintain a healthy weight, boosts energy, and promotes cellular regeneration; a key component in healthy aging. Although each individual’s needs may vary, most benefit from eating more vegetables, plenty of fruit, and lean protein.
2. Get Routine Exercise
In addition to eating well, it is important to move as much as possible. Routine exercise keeps your muscles strong, joints lubricated, and arthritis symptoms at bay. Depending on your particular health concerns, your elder care provider may limit the type of exercise you do. However, light stretching, walking, dancing, and Pilates are typically safe choices for most older individuals.
3. Socialize With Others
Maintaining an active social life is also very important for reaching your 100th birthday in great health. Spending time with others helps to reduce anxiety, boost your mood, and has even been shown to keep symptoms of Alzheimer’s at bay. If you live in a retirement community or nursing home, make an effort to participate in group outings and activities; if you live at home or have in-home care, try to find hiking or art groups for seniors in your area.
4. Keep Your Mind Sharp
In addition to socializing with others, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Reading, solving puzzles, or engaging in brain teasers are all helpful ways to slow cognitive decline. A number of centenarians also take art and language classes as a way to keep their minds active and sharp, which makes achieving this milestone all the more fulfilling.
For more information on healthy aging or elder care tips for your loved ones, contact the compassionate team at Senior Age Care of St. Louis. This private agency specializes in establishing quality in-home care for seniors and their families. Whether you need live-in or hourly service, their skilled professionals will ensure your loved one is engaging in the stimulating activities they need to live a long and healthy life. Call (636) 633-6866 or (314) 375-5944 to speak with a representative. Visit them online to learn more about what the elder care services offered.