As we age, the more precious and vulnerable our good health becomes. Our bodies are built to endure many years of wear and tear, but eventually that wear and tear can begin to take a toll. And as part of the aging process, we’re faced with naturally-occurring increased risks for a number of health concerns. Despite these risks, it’s important to know that steps can be taken to obtain a healthy lifestyle and help lower the likelihood of suffering from these common health concerns.
Avoid These 5 Health Concerns with Healthy Aging
Use your knowledge of the below most common senior health concerns to your advantage. Empower yourself to live a healthy retirement today.
1. Chronic diseases
Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are the most common senior health problems. Even though these diseases are serious and can be deadly, they’re also highly preventable. When you focus on a healthy lifestyle, these are the main diseases you are working to prevent.
What you can do: Make healthy choices. Exercise daily, eat a nutritious diet, keep your mind sharp, spend time with loved ones, avoid smoking, limit your alcohol, and be diligent about your medical check-ups. These lifestyle tips will work in your favor.
2. Injuries from falling
Falling as “normal” is just one myth many people have in their minds about seniors and falls: that it’s always going to happen. Actually, falling is not a normal part of aging and injuries from falling can be prevented.
What you can do: The goal is to deter falling, which will deter injuries from falling. Focus on maintaining your balance, flexibility and mobility. Fitness classes geared towards seniors like yoga and Pilates are fun options. Or try stretches you can do at home.
3. Mental health problems & cognitive decline
Seniors are more likely than any other age group to be isolated, which drastically increases risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental problems. Alzhzeimer’s disease and dementia risk increases with age, and the best thing you can do to lower your risk is keep your brain active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Mental and cognitive health are just as important as physical health.
What you can do: Make an effort to try new things and socialize with other people regularly. Exercise your brain by continuing to learn as you get older – play new games, take up a new hobby, and read often.
4. Vision and hearing problems
It’s not unusual for the eyes and ears to lose some of their function as we age. Vision problems like glaucoma and cataracts are most common in older adults. The key is to catch these conditions early.
What you can do: Schedule and attend your regular vision and hearing appointments and talk to your doctor about any changes you experience.
Did you know that health problems common to seniors can affect appetite and eating habits? Sometimes older adults won’t feel hungry due to another health problem, which means they don’t eat. Sometimes they don’t feel thirsty, so they don’t drink. Either way, malnutrition can occur and become very dangerous for adults whose bodies need nutrients to thrive.
What you can do: Eat nutritious snacks throughout the day like fruit, vegetables and hummus, protein bars, whole grain crackers, or nuts. Keep a water bottle handy. Try to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to stay hydrated.
Immanuel Lutheran Communities offers a variety of health services when and where our residents need them, including assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and memory care. No matter where you are in life, we’ll be here with professionalism and kindness when you need us. Learn more about the senior living lifestyle at Immanuel Lutheran Communities today.