The life expectancy of mankind has increased today, thanks to science and the progress of related fields. But as life expectancy has increased, seniors now face more challenges as they live to ripe old ages. In order to live independent and productive lives as long as possible, here are some tips to help.
1. First of all, bring a change to your lifestyle and eating habits as you cross 65. If you have not been living a healthy life till now, it is time to give up your vices. Smoking is one thing that has to go as it can lead to such problems as Alzheimer’s disease and lung diseases. Alcohol and other substance abuse also have to go; the former in little moderation can still be allowed. As for your diet, try to avoid red meat as much as possible especially if you have high blood pressure and heart problems. Get overall nutrition from each of the 6 food groups that make up our diet like fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, meat, poultry, fish and milk. Include dry beans as well.
2. Sodium intake should be moderated or lowered, especially those items with sodium that come from processed foods. Women senior citizens must increase their intake of calcium as osteoporosis is a common problem among aging women.
3. Live an active life as much as possible. Some form of exercise like walking or running should be done everyday as long as possible. Tai chi and yoga are especially helpful for seniors as these help to combat joint problems and stiffness that happens with aging. But do not exercise too much, as this can put a stress on your body’s aging organs.
4. Go for regular checkups even when you are well. Men should go for regular prostrate check ups while women should be aware of their bone density as low bone density can lead to osteoporosis. Be on the lookout for sudden change in your behavior or that of your partner. Don’t overlook instances of you forgetting things all of a sudden or if you can’t remember recent events.
5. Your social life should also be fully enjoyed at this age. Don’t stop going out to your regular meetings with friends because of your age; in fact you should meet more regularly. Socializing is a great way to combat age related problems like Alzheimer’s disease and depression which often comes due to loneliness.
6. Along with staying active, you should also have preventive methods to stop falling because bones become brittle at this age. So make sure your house is proofed against accidental falls and bumps; ask your children to do it for you if you can’t do it yourself.
7. Remember to take your medications every day. Fill up your prescription two or three days before the old ones run out, so that you don’t have to rush to the pharmacy at the last moment or miss a day of meds. Always ask the doctor if there are some restrictions with the medications you are taking and be honest about what else you are taking in while discussing this with your doctor.
With right attitude and lifestyle, you can enjoy this period of your life. In fact, it can turn out to be the best part of your whole life if you are aware of potential limitations and problems.