Healthy Seniors: 7 Health Tips for Seniors in Retirement
Aging doesn’t need to be limiting. In an era where medical science and innovation is extending the population’s life expectancy, it is important to ensure that these later years are spent in good health and positive spirits. Whether you are a caregiver or someone looking to maintain his or her health, following these seven health tips for seniors in order to maintain and improve an elder’s quality of life.
Tip #1: Keep active
Getting out and keeping active provides multiple health benefits for seniors. A recent study has shown that vitamin D from natural sunlight helps reduce the risk of hip fractures, high blood pressure, and stroke or heart attack for older adults. Physical outdoor activity is reported to reduce tension confusion, anger, and depression more effectively than indoor activity.
The Government of Canada recommends that older adults (65 years and older) should take part in at least 2.5 hours of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week; minimum of 10 minutes or more during each exercise session. Another helpful health tip for seniors is to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice a week.
Tip #2: Maintain social network
Higher levels of social interaction not only helps elders ward off cognitive decline, but also helps maintain a sense of feeling connected and valued. According to studies, the rate of cognitive decline was 70% less in seniors with frequent social contact than those with low social activity – this can be maintained through daily interactions with family, grandchildren, and others in the senior retirement community, resulting in a more upbeat attitude, which is key to staying happier and healthier.
Tip #3: Eat well
Eating well and eating healthy are some of the best health tips for seniors. These lifestyle choices help you live longer and stronger, sharpen your mind, and feel better. A well-balanced diet can boost immunity and reduce the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer among things. A healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, fish, and omega-3 fatty acids can help improve mental alertness and fight off Alzheimer’s disease. Eating well can maintain and improve your physical appearance, self-esteem, and mood.
Tip #4: Regular medical visits
The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” need not apply. A proactive attitude can help spot potential problems early and go a long way in maintaining a higher quality of life. Preventative care visits such as health screenings for cholesterol levels, colon cancer, heart problems, and more may be included in health care plans depending on which country you are in.
Furthermore, more frequent visits and consultations with professionals such as registered dieticians can help maintain a healthy weight. As we age, our metabolism and our body’s ability to handle food and liquid consumption changes. Among elders, being underweight as a result of insufficient nutrient intake may stem from not eating or enough or having an illness or disease. Being overweight and obese creates the risk of increasing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes among other issues.
Tip #5: Quit smoking
Goes without saying, nipping the unhealthy habit in the bud can not only mitigate cancer-related issues, but also reduce chances of strokes and heart failure. Other issues such as erectile dysfunction in men due to atherosclerosis and excessive wrinkling of the skin can be combated against by simply quitting smoking. Other benefits of a smoke-free life, no matter how old or young, include having better blood circulation, improved sense of taste and smell, and setting a healthier example for your children and grandchildren.
Tip #6: Avoid injuries
As we age, we don’t heal as fast as we once did. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries of people aged 65 and over, resulting in hip fractures, cuts, and even serious head and brain injuries that can be fatal. Even in the absence of physical injury, the psychological trauma can deter seniors from engaging in certain activities again – impacting lifestyle.
Helping seniors reduce the risk of falling is a great way to help them stay healthy and independent as long as possible. Simple changes to prevent falls at home include: cleaning up clutter, repairing or removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars and handrails, and installing non-slip mats in the bathtubs and showers. It’s also best to encourage seniors not to live alone if possible, since having an extra pair of hands is always handy around the house.
Tip #7: Continuous learning
Keeping the mind strong is as important as keeping our bodies fit. Learning new skills throughout life plays an important part in healthy, active aging. Whether it is taking continuing education courses at a local institution or serving as a mentor, by engaging in these activities, you learn new things, meet new people, share ideas, develop thinking skills, and improve your memory. Continuing education courses can range from humanities, social sciences, and even science and technology subjects. Lifelong learning provides not just knowledge, but also a sense of purpose and structure.