As we age, we will experience many changes which may require us to change our lifestyles in order to stay healthy. These changes can include dental check-ups, dietary changes, physicals, medications, and more. As a caregiver, it is just as important to be aware of your loved one’s medical needs, especially older adults who are living with chronic illnesses. Individuals who have always had good, healthy habits when they were younger, tend to remain healthy throughout their old age. If you have yet to start, it is never too late. Refer to our guide to living up to healthy habits.
When you maintain a healthy diet as you age, you can expect to live well. The digestive system deteriorates with age so it is important for you to incorporate foods that are high in fiber and vitamins such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into your diet. Fiber can help older adults to maintain a healthy diet while also lowering the risk of critical health problems like heart disease and stroke. Another health secret is to stay well hydrated at all times to prevent urinary tract infections and constipation. For older adults who experience a lack of appetite, it is important to enhance the flavor of their food and create a comfortable mealtime ambiance.
Focusing on Prevention
There are many preventive care visits such as health screenings for colon cancer, cholesterol levels, heart problems, and more. These screenings can help to prevent the overlooking of a serious diagnosis. Current guidelines suggest that females over the age of 45 should go for annual mammograms and males over 50 should test for prostate cancer regularly. Older adults may also consider getting regular influenza and pneumonia shots.
For caregivers, if your older loved ones are on any medication, review each of their prescriptions with their physician regularly. Proper medication management is important to help you monitor for any side effects if any, along with the symptoms that may arise due to drug interactions. Record down any drowsiness, allergic reactions, or loss of appetite and communicate this important information to their physician immediately for professional advice.
Getting Some Sleep
For older adults who experience insomnia or those who frequently wake up at night, their health can be adversely impacted, thus causing them to be weak. Maintaining good sleep habits can help to improve their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try by first waking up and going to bed at the same time every night to sync your personal internal clock. Try not to take naps during the day and when night comes, stay away from alcohol or caffeine. You may also create a much more comfortable sleep environment where it is quiet and cooling.
When you stay mentally active, you can learn new skills which will help improve your thinking ability. Older adults need to constantly keep their minds sharp through engaging activities and brain games. You can also read, write, play crossword puzzles, or even take on a new hobby.