When you think about your health, it’s easy to
focus only on physical health with regular check-ups, dental cleanings, healthy
eating and exercise. Equally important, however, is to think about your mental
health and overall wellness to achieve true holistic health. This concept of
holistic health is not new and is increasingly integrated into mainstream
Holistic health for seniors is top of mind for
many, especially senior caregivers. It’s critical for seniors to focus on and
achieve holistic health, as their health needs shift, and major life changes –
such as the death of a spouse or partner, or losing the ability to drive - can
take a toll both physically and mentally.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
(BCBSRI) wants to help seniors prioritize their health and wellness from every
angle to achieve true holistic health with some helpful suggestions.
Visit your primary care provider regularly: Especially as we age, it’s important to have a primary care
provider (PCP) who is familiar with your health, your background and your risk
factors. A PCP who knows you well can often make better health recommendations
and identify issues before they become bigger problems.
Keep your mouth clean and healthy: Don’t forget that as you age your teeth do, too! People of all
ages should visit the dentist for a cleaning twice a year. Even if you have
dentures, it’s still important to see your dentist regularly. Regular cleanings
help remove plaque buildup and maintaining good oral health is directly linked
to the health of your whole body.
Practice healthy eating: Filling your diet with unprocessed, whole foods can help
seniors stay satisfied for longer, and provide them with more energy and the
nutrients they need. Eating smart can also help to avoid conditions like high
cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and more. At each of
BCBSRI’s Your Blue Store locations, you can schedule a time to speak with a
registered dietician about specific needs surrounding your dietary health.
Stay active: Even if seniors
have trouble moving around, there are still many ways to stay fit. Yoga and
meditation are great options to help seniors relax, stretch and breathe. Many
senior centers also offer fitness classes like chair yoga and water aerobics to
help seniors stay active.
Keep your mind sharp: In addition to exercise, practicing a hobby can be extremely
beneficial for the mind. Things like sewing, reading, doing puzzles or even
learning a new language can help keep the brain sharp and provide seniors with
Meet new people: Socializing and staying active is a big component of healthy
aging, especially as social isolation can pose a threat to the senior
population. Seniors can visit Your Blue Store locations to take free
nutrition and fitness classes. Locations include:
Cowesett Corners, 300 Quaker Lane, Warwick
Highland Commons, 71 Highland Avenue, East
Lincoln Mall, 622 George Washington Highway,
BCBSRI also offers programs and initiatives
specifically for seniors to support healthy aging. The Second Act program aims
to connect Medicare Advantage members with volunteer opportunities, from being
a foster grandparent to serving meals to tutoring. Volunteering can help
seniors stay physically active, meet new people and provide a sense of purpose
– all positive benefits for holistic health. To find a good match for your
interests, contact Serve Rhode Island or the Corporation for National and Community Service/RSVP.
As we age, it’s especially important to
maintain a full life – filled with people, activities and purpose. BCBSRI is
committed to helping seniors prioritize and achieve true holistic health. For
more information, visit www.bcbsri.com/medicare/caregiver/perks.