World Health Day, created by the First Health Assembly in 1948, is recognized today. This year, the 73rd anniversary of the World Health Organization asks leaders to encourage “building a fairer, healthier world.” The theme’s purpose is to monitor health inequities and promote every person’s right to good health.
Seniors, unfortunately, experience more health complications than other age groups due to the body’s natural aging process. However, adopting healthy habits will alleviate symptoms and/or prevent disease as we age.
Mental and physical changes occurring with advancing years are ad infinitum. Recognize which are natural and which are cause for concern by understanding why behaviors and choices affect health.
- Skin and Bones- Skin loses elasticity, becomes wrinkled and starts to thin with age. Bones lose mass and density, sometimes resulting in a hunched posture or ”shrinking” in stature. Be aware of suspicious bone pain because of the risk of osteoporosis.
- Brains- Older individuals quite naturally become forgetful as bodies slow and senses lose acuity. There is a definitive difference between occasional forgetfulness, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Seniors need to have regular checkups in order to have physicians recognize whether health concerns are due to physical changes or a loss of brain function.
- Hearts- Large arteries become rigid with age and may be responsible for a condition known as atherosclerosis. Fatty deposits build up and are a serious risk for heart attacks. Discuss any concerns involving your heart with a physician.
- Digestive systems- Stomach pain, nausea, and constipation occur as the digestive system alters during the aging process. If uncomfortable conditions linger or become intense, a doctor needs to be contacted to determine the cause.
The only way to combat changes and ensure you do not develop a disease thought preventable is to prioritize healthy habits, especially now as a Senior.
1.) Be active- Exercise boosts immune system function, improves mental outlook, and helps fight inflammation. A variety of online exercises for Seniors exists. A simple daily walk will even make a noticeable difference.
2.) Schedule Annual Checkups- Regular doctor visits are recommended to monitor health. Medication may be prescribed to help with current conditions.
3.) Enjoy a Balanced diet- Nutritional diets are essential for receiving the nutrients and vitamins needed for optimal body function. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean meats boosts immunity and increases antioxidants, all of which are needed for good health and heart disease reduction. An apple a day is not enough as we age.
4.) Kick unhealthy habits- Smoking and drinking lead to serious health risks such as cancer, liver and brain damage. Protect your body and discontinue unhealthy habits.
5.) Practice Hygiene- Wash hands often and keep surroundings clean. Avoid those who are sick and receive the recommended vaccines for viruses and diseases.
6.) Mental Health- Isolation, loneliness, and feelings of depression in Seniors intensify health complications and lowers immune system functions. Improve mental health. Stay connected to family and friends, enjoy hobbies and/or activities, and have 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Bridge to Better Living understands the delicate and important balance of meeting each Senior’s social, physical, and medical needs. Explore our no-cost service today! Why? Because Bridge to Better Living cares about YOU.