Happy Valentine’s Day! In some ways, Valentine’s Day is the perfect
holiday because it’s a day devoted to showing others how much you care.
What’s more, you can go over-the-top with a big gesture… or fill the day
with simple, homemade surprises. Either way, the object of your
affection will feel the love.
And while you could go down the
filet mignon and champagne route, Valentine’s Day also gives us some
pretty sublime ways to indulge that benefit the body as much as they
lift the spirits. At Home Instead Senior Care of the Southeast Valley,
this is especially important to us because keeping seniors healthy and
letting them know how much they are valued are two of our lifelong
loves. Here are some of our favorite way to share the love – and longevity – with the seniors in our lives.
of goodness: It’s a classic for a reason. For most people, chocolate is
a surefire way to the heart. But it’s also good for the heart.
According to numerous studies, including these,
the flavanols in cocoa have been found to lower blood pressure and
reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Chocolate also may help the
brain. A study published last August in the journal Hypertension
showed that, of 90 seniors with mild cognitive impairment who were
given cocoa with high, medium, or low amounts of flavanols, those who
drank high and medium levels of flavanols outperformed those who
consumed low doses on tests of attention and other mental skills. The
recommended serving is 3 ounces of flavanol-rich dark chocolate with a
cocoa content of 65 percent or higher. Because chocolate is a
high-calorie and often sugar-laden food, you should be mindful of any
dietary restrictions your senior loved one has before giving them a
A well-balanced vintage: By now,
everyone knows about the health benefits of moderate red wine
consumption, but there’s a relatively new finding that you might not
have heard. Resveratrol, the wonder-compound responsible for wine’s
healthy rep, could actually improve senior mobility and reduce falls. In
presented to the American Chemical Society last year, researchers fed
young and old lab mice a resveratrol-rich diet for eight weeks. After
about four weeks, the balance of the older mice had improved to the
point that it was close to that of the young mice. If wine isn’t an
option for your senior, resveratrol can be found naturally in grape
juice, peanuts, the skin of grapes and other dark fruits, such as
cranberries and blueberries.
Flower power: Good
old-fashioned posies are lovely for putting a little spring in your
senior’s step… without the calories of candy and alcohol. On a warmer
day, consider taking your senior on a visit to an indoor garden center.
It’s an easy way to get a little exercise and preview what’s in store
Paper pleasures: Emails and Facebook
and texting, oh my! If your senior is wired, these are fun ways to stay
connected but don’t underestimate how special a well-chosen greeting
card can be. Many seniors save their favorites– we know at least one who
frames her Valentines and uses them as decorations year after year. The
few minutes you spend picking out a card can bring your senior many
moments of happy memories.
For more information about the health
and well-being of seniors, please contact Home Instead Senior Care of
the Southeast Valley at 480- 827-4343, or visit on us Facebook.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.