You’ve probably read a lot of tabloid headlines about celebrities who are aging gracefully, and wondered how you can set yourself up for the same kind of success. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a millionaire to age healthily! September has been deemed Healthy Aging Month, which means it’s time for you to take stock of your own habits or to encourage the older people in your life to follow preventative care for seniors that can lead to aging gracefully. What exactly does it mean to age gracefully? How can you improve the aging process? Here are five preventative tips for healthy aging.
You might not be Dick Van Dyke who’s still tap dancing at 95 years old, but if you utilize preventative care for seniors, you might be able to find your own version of that. Aging gracefully means that you’re still active and engaged with your friends and family. Healthy aging allows you longer independence. It also means that you’re doing everything you can to get a clean bill of health from your doctor. Some illnesses can’t be prevented, because they’re genetic, but others can be warded off by healthy lifestyle choices. Aging gracefully means you’re taking care of your physical and mental health in order to live your best life.
There are a few preventative care measures you can take that will promote healthy aging. Here are tips that are easy to follow that can make all the difference.
1. Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Even if you don’t feel like there’s something wrong with you, one of the best preventative measures you can take is going to see your doctor for your annual checkup. Your doctor may be able to uncover early signs of bigger issues, like cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis or irregular cholesterol levels. Catching any of these issues early can result in a longer, happier life. It never hurts to get screened for any potential problems.
2. Move Your Body
Want to age gracefully by still being able to get yourself around on your own at 80 years old? Want to prevent falls by improving your balance? Want to improve your recovery time in preparation for surgery? Then, keep your body moving. Find ways of moving and exercising that fit your body’s abilities now. Take walks, join a yoga class or go to a water aerobics lesson. Moving your body shouldn’t feel like a chore, because mobility is a privilege.
3. Eat Smart
Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the smartest measures of preventative care for seniors that you can participate in. It doesn’t mean you have to entirely cut out your favorite junk food, but that food should be consumed with restraint and moderation. A healthy diet can help prevent unwanted weight gain, which can cause serious health issues if left unchecked, and it gives your body the energy you need to feel good.
4. Take Care Of Your Skin
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and your first line of defense against the outside world. That’s why it’s so important to keep your skin healthy. Use sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent damage to your skin when spending time outdoors. Get screened for skin cancer every year, especially if you notice an irregular mole, freckle or spot. Avoid using harsh products on your skin. Also, staying hydrated keeps your skin healthy and may even help to prevent wrinkles.
5. Continue To Connect With Your Favorite People
As humans, we need and crave social interaction. It’s a vital part of maintaining your mental health. Schedule outings with family and friends. Facetime your grandkids if they don’t live close enough to visit. Spending quality time with the people you thoroughly enjoy can keep you young for a long time. If you feel yourself detaching from loved ones, reach out to your doctor because that could be a sign of a bigger mental health issue, like depression or anxiety.
“You’ll never regret harnessing the power of preventative care for seniors because putting in the effort will increase your chances of aging gracefully,” says Jennifer James, Care Manager. “It all boils down to taking the time to care for yourself. See your doctor, exercise, eat healthy and spend time with the ones you love.”