10 Healthy Habits for Older Adults
Aging Matters

Everyone wants to age gracefully. But whether or not you do is mostly based on the choices of nutritious meals, physical activities, and health care checkups. Like most people, you do not delight in the thought of getting older because of the aches and pains, forgetfulness, and loneliness. The state of aging is normal, and we do not have to dread it (all the time).

It's never too late to achieve wellness on both physical and mental levels. In fact, many continue to get better as they age. I've seen images and videos of men, age 80 and up, running races and marathons and women, age 90, doing yoga and swimming. So, we have no excuse to sit around and grow complacent.

Keeping up with the health necessities and objectives can overwhelm a person. There's a need for regular health check-ups, treatments, medications, and routine health maintenance which can turn into a full-time job. Here's a list of reminders and things to do that relate to health requirements.

  1. Get medical checkups - Take advantage of the free medical checkups and physicals offered by Medicare all through the first 12 months upon joining the insurance program. After that, you (a senior) receive free annual wellness office visits. From the free assessment, you'll be given a clear direction on what's needed and learn your capabilities.
  2. Target prevention - Medicare pays for preventive health screenings for the heart, cholesterol, colon cancer and sugar levels. Get pneumonia and influenza vaccinations during these health check-ups.
  3. Manage medications - During the office visits, share your prescription and over the counter drugs with the physician. If you have questions about drug interactions, symptoms, and allergic reactions, it's the time to ask.
  4. Go to the Dentist - It's important to keep the gums and teeth clean and healthy. Mouth conditions show evidence of severe health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Get a regular dental check-up every six months.
  5. Vision and eye exam - If you wear prescription glasses, it's important to make sure it's up to date. If not, the risk of a fall heightens. Screenings also examine eye health.
  6. Mental Health - Stay mentally active by doing crossword puzzles and hobbies you enjoy. Continue to read and write. These activities motivate and engage the brain.
  7. Fitness - Exercise increases energy and memory. By taking a walk and moving around, you'll lessen the risk of depression.
  8. Eat nourishing foods - Because the body slows down with age, eat plenty of high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Be sure to stay hydrated because drinking water increases energy.
  9. Sleep - Frequent insomnia affects health. Dim lights in the evening to encourage drowsiness and adjust the temperature to a comfortable setting.
  10. Stay involved and connected - It's important to engage with people you know and love. Make sure to spend time with friends and grandchildren.

Carol Marak is the editor at SeniorCare.com. She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from the University of CA, Davis.

Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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