Senior citizens generally need more medical care than most other age groups. Chronic illnesses aren’t rare in the elderly, but that doesn’t mean senior health needs to be neglected. Healthy habits can make an older person’s life more fulfilling. In fact, research has shown that it is never too late to take on a healthier lifestyle and benefit from it. These five habits can keep you in better shape.
1. Stay Active
Physical activity is beneficial even if you are older. Even a short walk can boost heart health, and a suitable exercise program can maintain your muscle and reduce the risks of putting on excess weight. Exercise also has other benefits. It can reduce depression and even sharpen your memory. You may even be able to sustain your energy level during a long walk.
2. Stick to a Healthy Diet
Fruits and vegetables are recommended for people of any age. For a senior, high-fiber and nutritious foods are even more important; they help to replace what may be missing in the body. The fiber is also good because the digestive process is slower when you age. Moisture-laden foods are ideal. Your body is prone to dehydration as a senior, so drinking a lot of water during the day can keep you feeling healthy and energetic.
3. Get Enough Sleep
If you wake up frequently at night and have a hard time sleeping at all, this is not uncommon for seniors. There are many ways to try to get more sleep. Sure, there are medications that can help. Also, try turning down the lights; the lack of light might put your brain into a more tired state. Your bedroom should be a comfortable place as well, insulated from noise, and kept at a cool temperature.
4. Follow All Medical Protocols
Free physicals are offered to seniors when they start Medicare. Make sure you get to all doctor appointments and focus on preventative care and health screenings. Tests for heart problems, high cholesterol, and more can spot trouble early, so your health can be better managed. Pneumonia and influenza vaccinations should be routine and also check up on your vision and dental health on a regular basis. If you wear eyeglasses, make sure the prescription is right, so you don’t have a higher risk of falling; visiting the dentist often can mean finding cavities and heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions before they progress.
5. Stay Informed on Medication Management
In addition to prescribing medications, physicians should review all the ones you are on. Don’t hesitate to ask what drugs might interact and about any symptoms such as drowsiness or loss of appetite. Note any changes when starting or changing medicines, so your doctor can adjust the types and dosages accordingly. It’s also not a bad idea to have someone help you along; Seniors Helping Seniors offers a wide range of resources, including assistance with daily activities so you don’t have to rely on guesswork to take the right medications or find the most appropriate medical care for your daily needs.