Thanks to advances in medical technology, we’re living longer than ever. By the year 2060, it’s projected that nearly a quarter of the population will be aged 65 and older. With these longer lives, it’s becoming more and more likely that we will have a chronic health condition that will impact our health. In order to get the most out of our golden years, health will be a key aspect of your life.
The older you get, the more important it is to pay attention to your health. While it may have been easy to brush off minor health issues as a young adult, our bodies don’t recover as quickly when we age. By listening to your body and abiding by some basic rules of thumb, you can help ensure that you live a full, rich life as an older adult.
Read on and discover our tips to maintain your health as a senior.
See the doctor regularly
As you age, you’ll need to consistently monitor your health for changes. Each year, plan to visit your primary care physician at least once for a physical health screening. This screening may include checking your blood glucose levels, monitoring your blood pressure, verifying your weight and administering any vaccines you need. If you have more serious health conditions, you may need to monitor your conditions more closely at home and plan to spend more time at the doctor’s office.
Dehydration can be dangerous or even deadly, especially for older adults. Since your sense of thirst wanes as you age, it is far easier to become dehydrated. Not only does dehydration raise your likelihood for health issues like pneumonia and urinary tract infections, it also can increase symptoms of dementia and cause a rapid heartbeat. Older adults should try to drink water as much as possible or eat foods with a high water content like watermelon and lettuce.
Have a healthy diet
We’ve all heard that “you are what you eat,” but that’s especially true as we become older adults. The older we get, the more important it is to keep a healthy diet. Since you burn fewer calories, you should focus on maintaining a healthy portion size for your meals. Each meal should include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Do your best to avoid foods with excess butter, sugar and carbs.
Manage your chronic illnesses
Conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure and arthritis are some of the most common chronic diseases in older adults, and treating these conditions is a vital part of living a long life. Treatment options vary depending on the type of chronic condition you have and the severity of your case. Since chronic illnesses require vigilant supervision and medication management, many find support by having a caretaker or living in an assisted living facility.
Get adequate sleep
You might find yourself needing more sleep in your golden years and that’s completely normal. However, health conditions can sometimes make it hard to get your ideal 7-9 hours, or you may find yourself napping frequently during the day. You can combat some of these issues by practicing good sleep hygiene: go to bed at the same time every night, avoid caffeine in the evening and make your bedroom a cool, dark, comfortable place.
There are few things that help your health as much as regular exercise. Even if you aren’t capable of active, aerobic exercise, there is still plenty you can do to stay healthy. Start with small walks around your home or around the block, or do a few minutes on a treadmill each day. You might also try some basic balance exercises like standing on one foot or sitting on an exercise ball. Before you start an exercise regimen, consult with your doctor to determine your level of ability and discuss any concerns you have with your fitness.
Do you or a loved one need the support of assisted living to live your fullest life?
Contact Culpepper Place of Olive Branch. We can provide you with the assistance you need to get the most out of your life.