VNA Answer Nurse: New Year’s Resolutions

Paula Thibideau is a Licensed Practical Nurse with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and coordinates all aspects of community wellness for the non-profit home healthcare agency.


Q: It’s easy to make a New Year’s resolution, but how do you keep it?
A: Start with a plan. Write down what you want to accomplish and a date you’d like to be finished. Make sure you set a realistic date. Now that you have a long-term goal in mind, set smaller, easier-to-manage tasks in between. For example, if you want to lose fifty pounds by next year, 1-2 pounds per week is reasonable. If you want to quit smoking, set a date you want to completely quit and wean yourself over time. Use a calendar to mark milestones and find a way to celebrate your achievement.

Q: Do people my age really make New Year’s resolutions?
A: Self-improvement doesn’t have an age limit. Have you been wanting to eat healthier? Maybe you’ve been talking about spending more time with your grandkids, exercise or learn something new. Did you finish writing your book? Maybe you’ve been wanting to enjoy an old hobby. A resolution is the firm decision to do something. Think about what you want to do and go do it!

Q: I’m a full-time caregiver. My only resolution is to get more time for myself. How can I do that?
A: The answer is respite care which is care provided by someone other than you. Whether a few hours each week or longer for a vacation, respite care gives you a break from daily responsibilities. Friends and family can often help in the short-term; however, regular help is key. Home care agencies offer respite care services and are a good option because they are licensed, insured and their employees have been screened including background checks.

Q: My New Year’s resolution is keeping my memory sharp. What do you recommend?
A: The answer is exercise! Consider learning a new language or a new skill. Play games and work puzzles which force you to think, analyze and remember steps. Consider taking a class.

Q: My goal next year is to give back. Where can I learn about volunteer opportunities?
A: Start with organizations that have existing volunteer programs, for example hospice, the library, your local community center, senior center or school district. You can also think about things you like to do and contact places directly. For example, if you like animals, you can contact the humane society. If you like conservation, call your local parks and recreation office. There’s meaningful work to be done and a niche that’s waiting for you.

This information is for educational purposes. Please consult your physician for any medical issues. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to bringing trusted and quality private and home health care to Brevard County patients from Titusville to Barefoot Bay. For more information about VNA services, call 321-752-7550 or visit