Aging is a natural process and everyone goes through the process. It is a life stage and we need to prepare ourselves for a better life in the old age. Few precautions and changes in habits can help in aging without any cumbersome.
Stay healthy and happy; enjoy every bit of life till the end of life. Try these health tips for elders for a better life.
1. Quit smoking: Smoking not only reduces your income but also injurious to health in many ways – it causes stroke, heart failure, lung disease and cancer. Smoking hurts sexual life due to atherosclerosis and it takes away pleasure out of retired life. Quit smoking today to save money for a happy life.
2. Eat good food: Illness in old age also caused by bad eating habits. Include functional foods in your diet. These foods supply necessary nutrients for the body along with basic nutrients. High blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes – all these can be prevented by taking healthy and nutrient food every day. Eat fresh vegetables, cereals and fruits. Take your supplements (as prescribed by your doctor) Drink milk, consume yogurt and combine eating with physical activity. Some food recommendations are:
- fruits and vegetables
- whole grains- oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice
- fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, or soy or rice milk that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium
- beans, nuts, and seeds
- reduce spices and salt intake
- avoid too much sugar and desserts
- take vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements
- don’t skip your breakfast
- drink good amount of water
3. Physical activity: Go for walk, play tennis (if you have strength), go to gym, practice yoga poses that are dedicated for seniors, dance with your partners – do small work at home – arranging books, cleaning table, loading dish washer, folding clothes etc. These activities give balance, maintain strength, increases flexibility and help in blood circulation. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce body mass index and cholesterol.
4. Regular checkups: Go for dental, vision and hearing checkups. With age gum and teeth will degenerate. It is important to maintain the hygiene. Vision checkups are important to make sure to see and read. Hearing declines with age for many. Go through hearing checkups and talk to your doctor about hearing aid prescription if you need one. Do not forget about yearly health checkups! Understand the changes of the body at old age.
5. Healthy weight: It is important to keep healthy weight during old age. As the body ages, one will notice changes in body’s makeup- lose muscle mass, which may increase frailty. If the physical activity is low then one will burn fewer calories. To prevent weight gain eating fewer calories than your young age will help. It means your body needs fewer calories to help to get the nutrients as well as energy.
6. Immunization and other tests: Stay up to date on immunization and health screening. If you need Flu shot – talk to your doctor. Men should go through prostate cancer check up and women need mammography to check for breast cancer. Ask your doctor what other tests and blood work you need to go through once you cross 50 and 60 years.
7. Special needs: If you need special assistance to take care, do not hesitate. It is okay to take help from others. You can take help, still be independent while attending to the work that is possible from you. If you have body conditions, need checkups, and cannot drive to see a physician then, consider taking help.
8. Keep a note: Make notes of your observation about your health, grocery that you need, passwords if you have any – with age memory loss is common. Keeping a note of important items of your life helps you to access into during critical time. When you go for grocery carry a note book with you that contains list. This way you can avoid frequent visit to grocery to buy something. Keep a note of your medicines and the time you take. If you forget then note will help you to recall to take prescribed medicines.
9. Relaxed life: All through life you have struggled and had to work for yourself and family. This is the age to relax and have fun. Do not take any type of stress to your mind. Meditation helps to bring stress level down. Learn to adopt and appreciate every small thing that gives happiness to you. Make sure to be positive in life. The knowledge and wisdom that you gained in your life should come to use at this age. Do not compare the success of your offspring to anyone else. Let them take responsibility to shape up their lives and encourage them to be positive.
Spend time with family and grandchildren. Taking care of grandchildren will boost your energy. It will help to bring back your memories and you will look at life totally in a different angle.
10. Be good to yourself: Due to loss of loved ones, health problems, money problems, or other reasons, many older adults may feel lonely, sad, low, or stressed. Make new friends and keep old friends. Have a walking and discussion group. Chose a topic and have healthy discussion with them. Being in the midst of people will help you to overcome loneliness that most elderly people go through in later stage of their lives. If you are able to, then travel and see places.
See some check list for better health here: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/young-heart-tips-Older-adults/Documents/YAH_TipSheet.pdf