As we grow older, we may have additional health issues or mental health issues that can make it harder to live independently. However, there are some tips for healthy aging you can follow, whether you are at home, or live in an assisted living community.
Physical health is important as we age. Factors that contribute to our physical health include our diet and lifestyle, our exercise levels, and the steps we take for preventative medicine.
Diet and nutrition are important to physical health. Make healthy choices when eating including limiting sugar and high-fat foods. Lean meats, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and water are essential to a healthy diet. Talk to your doctor about any supplements that may be necessary, including supplements for bone, eye, and brain health.
According to Harvard Health, the average person should drink four to six cups of water per day. Many older people don’t get enough water, which can create issues, especially if the person takes a diuretic. Drinking water helps flush bacteria from your bladder, prevents constipation, normalizes blood pressure, and more. Talk to your doctor about what your ideal daily water intake should be.
Move your body! Exercise is always important no matter what stage of life you are in. However, it’s more important as we age. Moving our bodies can help prevent, delay, and manage chronic illnesses. It can also help improve balance, and stamina and reduce the risk of falls. Exercise is also great for brain health. Moderate physical activity can include walking 30 minutes daily and muscle-strengthening activities. If you currently don’t have a physical exercise routine, ask your doctor for suggestions. There are exercises for people of all ability levels including chair exercises for those who have issues with standing or walking.
Aging healthily includes regular checkups with your health care provider. It’s important to have a baseline for your health, so even if you aren’t sick, it’s good to have regular physicals with the doctor. Regular health care can also help you manage any chronic illnesses including high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Consistently taking any prescribed medications is also vital to your health.
A key component of mental and brain health is staying social. It’s easy to isolate at home as we age, however, having regular social interaction can help fight feelings of loneliness. You may find opportunities to socialize through volunteering, church, or local senior centers. At The Cedars, our residents have regular social activities including meals with one another.
As much as we strive to stay independent as we age, sometimes the best option is to live in a retirement community such as The Cedars. Our Assisted Living program addresses all the needs of residents including nutrition, exercise, health care, and socialization. Contact The Cedars if you or a loved one is interested in learning more about the assisted living program.