Resolutions seem to abound in every age group from teenagers to senior citizens, but as we age, we like to think a certain amount of wisdom can help us look beyond the usual “get more exercise” or “organize the basement.” Of course neither of these is bad but what if this year, we chose something deeper and more meaningful that involved several generations in the family. For the aging, this is an important touchstone to stay connected, helping them live healthier, longer lives.

So if you are a senior or a caretaker for one, check out these new ideas.

  1. Create “A Letter Journal“—Are seniors the only ones who know how to compose a decent, hand-written letter these days? Maybe, but what is certainly true is that the older set knows the value of them. Take advantage of this by purchasing a bound journal, writing a letter inside, giving it to the family elder who will write a letter back and return it. The journal travels back and forth in the family for the year. What a lovely way to capture memories while creating important bonds.
  2. Recipe Swap—Plan a recipe swap several times during the coming year. Begin by cooking a meal of healthy recipes with your companion while having them share some of their favorites with you. Be sure to swap the actual recipes. If it seems appropriate, by the next swap, tweak their recipes using healthy alternatives. This combines important time together with healthy eating habits.
  3. Commit to aging gracefully—It’s never too early, or too late to decide to age well. Exercising often and eating right are just the beginning. Add a solid mental health regime to stay happy, act kindly and live peacefully.
  4. Prepare for aging—Not an easy resolution but so important. While your senior loved one can make plans for the future, it is critical to do so. Decide who in the family might provide at home care and research companies such as Family Private Care for when you might need to hire assistance. You might never need to employ the decisions but if the need arises, you won’t be scrambling to make them when stress is high.

2013 looks to be a banner year. Get together with the generations, some great old friends or your caregivers and make some meaningful resolutions to stay connected, keep healthy, age gracefully and prepare for it. All of these will give your year a solid foundation and will make the years to come healthier and more fulfilling.