America’s senior population is increasing, as 16.9% of America’s population consists of adults aged 65 or older; this means 56 million adults are 65 plus. By 2050, 22% of the overall population will be older adults. This growing senior population of baby boomers is prone to several health complications.
As we grow old, it’s natural for our bodies to become weak. This means, at this age, common flu can even turn into something serious. That’s why seniors must take care of their bodies and mind. There is no age for adopting a healthier lifestyle and putting effort into staying healthy.
In this article, we share four tips to help seniors stay healthy.
As we age, we become more worried about ourselves and the people and things around us. This can all lead to chronic stress. Stress is the number one enemy of a healthy life. Chronic stress increases the production of cortisol in the body. Cortisol disrupts body functions and weakens the immune system, thus making you more prone to developing health complications. You can manage stress by journaling, engaging in a hobby, doing deep breathing exercises, spending time with family and grandchildren, etc.
For those seniors who live in a nursing home, they can talk to other seniors and do some light activities together. However, seniors can sometimes experience stressful situations in a nursing home, which can negatively affect their health. For example, in the case of nursing home abuse, they can suffer from trauma, injury, and/or illness. If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, you should find one of the best nursing home abuse lawyers and file a lawsuit. That way, you will be able to receive financial compensation for taking care of the senior person and pay the medical bills that resulted from the nursing home abuse.
Get Necessary Vaccinations and Screenings Done:
As we age, our chances of developing chronic health issues increase. Sometimes a senior person might even feel mixed symptoms, so a health problem might go undetected. So the best way to avoid such problems is to attend regular checkups and screenings. Your healthcare provider can identify anything serious early on before it becomes severe. It’s suggested that women start getting mammography screening for breast cancer by age 50. Men are suggested to get screening for prostate cancer, etc. Thus, preventive screening is the best way to stay healthy.
Also, you should never miss out on your annual vaccinations if you want to stay healthy. For example, doctors recommend people aged 65 and older get an adjuvant or high-dose flu vaccine every year between October and May since this is the flu season in America. The vaccine reduces the risk of flu by 40% to 60%, thus proving very effective for people of every age, including the senior population. Seniors can also get pneumococcal vaccines that protect against meningitis and pneumonia.
Eat Healthily and Stay Hydrated:
With age, your digestive system slows down; thus, it’s necessary to intake essential nutrients to help improve your digestive system. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains into your diet. These things are an excellent source of essential vitamins, calcium, and fiber your digestive system needs for efficient performance. Another problem seniors commonly face is losing their appetite. Learn why your appetite has declined and focus on fixing the root cause. Even minor efforts like enhancing the flavor of the food or improving mealtime ambiance can increase appetite.
Another thing to take care of is drinking enough water. Seniors don’t get as thirsty as young people, and thus their water intake becomes less as they age. Less water intake causes dehydration, which can lead to many other health problems like urinary tract infections, constipation, etc. So always stay hydrated and drink the recommended amount of water to stay healthy.
It’s obvious that with age, a person’s energy and thus their activity decreases to some extent. But this doesn’t mean you cannot adopt an active lifestyle. Unless prescribed by a medical professional due to some serious health complication, you can move all you want. Do whatever you want. Being active is an essential part of living a healthy life. It’s recommended to do 150 minutes of moderate workout a week, and if you break it down into smaller bursts of simple low-intensity activities, it’s pretty easy to achieve, even for seniors. Going for a slow walk for 30 minutes daily will help you achieve this goal. Staying active controls and prevents illnesses, helps you maintain a healthy weight, lowers stress levels, enhances sleep quality, etc.
As a senior, you don’t have to lift heavy weights to increase your activity level. The best thing to do is to get involved in simple tasks around the yard and residence. Even if you live in a nursing home, you can participate in house tasks. You can also perform simple sitting exercises. Seated exercises like raising your legs or lifting small weights can greatly help tone your muscles. You can also try easy yoga positions. Yogic reflections help lower stress, depression or anxiety, tension, etc., thus improving your overall health.
Conclusion: Every senior is concerned about becoming weak and ill due to old age. Even as a senior citizen, you can put in the effort by doing simple things that greatly improve your health. Remember that age is just a number. With the four tips mentioned in this article, you, as a senior, can have a healthy and happy life.