The natural process of aging contributes to physical and mental changes that can have a significant impact on overall health and wellbeing. Even so, adults 60 and over can still live healthy, productive, active, and enjoyable lives for many years if the right precautions and proactive steps are taken. If you’re caring for an older family member, here’s some advice to pass along to help your 60-plus loved one live healthy during the golden years.
Be Proactive About Health Screenings
Age naturally increases the risk of developing serious conditions. For this reason, it’s a good idea to encourage your loved one to be proactive about recommended health screenings. For older women, this typically means mammograms to check for breast cancer, pelvic exams, and PAP tests every 3-5 years. For older men, regular prostate and testicular exams are often recommended. Additional testing/screenings that can benefit all older adults are ones that check for signs of:
• Heart disease
• Type 2 diabetes
• Osteoporosis (bone loss)
• Skin cancer
• Thyroid problems
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Tucson elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is more common among older adults. If your 60-plus loved one is still a smoker, encourage him or her to talk to the doctor about smoking cessation options. Ditching this habit can have a wide range of positive health benefits for seniors.
Focus on Heart Health
The American Heart Association reports that the majority of heart attacks in women occur within the first decade or so after menopause. Encourage your loved one to reduce this risk and adopt a heart-friendly lifestyle that includes:
• Maintaining normal cholesterol levels
• Avoiding fatty, fried, or excessively sugary foods
• Keeping body weight within an acceptable range
Good nutrition can play a role in promoting optimal physical and mental health for seniors, which means avoiding processed foods and helping your loved one follow a well-balanced diet consisting of the following foods:
• Leafy, green vegetables
• Bright-colored fruits
• Lean proteins
• Fish rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids
• Low-fat dairy products
According to the latest government recommendations, older adults are encouraged to get between 150 and 300 minutes of regular physical activity each week. The good news about exercise is that adults 60 and over have many options available. Even enjoyable pastimes like gardening, bird watching, and sightseeing can be considered forms of exercise. Seniors can also benefit from:
• Walking or casual jogging
• Swimming, water walking, and other water-based forms of exercise
• Low-impact aerobic workouts
• Cycling or indoor stationary bike use
• Yoga, Pilates, and similar disciplines that involve slower, controlled movements
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Get Regular Eye and Dental Exams
The risk of developing serious eye problems increases with age, especially once the age of 60 is reached. Your loved one can benefit from regular eye exams that include screenings for cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Regular dental exams can be equally beneficial for adults 60 and older.
Have Periodic Hearing Tests
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) tends to be progressive in nature. Your loved one may not realize his or her hearing capabilities are decreasing until he or she starts having noticeable difficulty following conversations or enjoying daily life. The good news is most types of age-related hearing loss can be managed with customized hearing aids, which are often practically invisible. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends hearing tests every 3 years for older adults.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Tucson family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To speak with one of our friendly Care Managers, call (520) 276-6555 today.