Tips for Healthy Aging - Caresify Home Care (2022)

More and more of us are living longer and participating in healthy active lives into our senior years. If this sounds like you, or you are heading into your 50s, 60s, and beyond and want to stay as healthy as possible, it’s important to practice habits that support healthy aging.

In the US, the population of senior adults is projected to almost double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and this could increase the number of older adults in nursing homes by more than 50%.1 But the majority of seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, an important goal that can be achieved more easily if a person is in good health.

So what should you focus on to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible? There are 3 important areas of health and well-being you need to pay special attention to. We’ll discuss them here.

Caring for your physical health

This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about healthy aging. There are some things about physical health that we can’t control, like genetics. But if we build healthy habits around the things we can control, it’s possible to reduce the risk of developing serious health problems and to manage any health problems that already exist.

See your doctor regularly

Making sure that you visit your doctor for routine checkups and any time you notice symptoms of a problem is a big part of being proactive about your physical health. Your doctor can work with you to screen for and treat health conditions that could be developing, like high blood pressure, heart disease, or anything you know might be a part of your family’s health history.

Practice healthy eating habits

A healthy diet is important at any stage of life, but as we age there are some particular dietary choices to pay attention to. Older adults tend to need fewer calories, but an increase in some other nutrients, compared to younger adults.2 For example, vitamin B12 absorption can sometimes decrease with age. Your doctor can check a simple blood test to see if your B12 level is high enough. Getting enough protein is also important. And calcium and vitamin D consumption affect bone health– for older adults, a bone disease called osteoporosis can lead to fractures.

Other healthy foods to focus on include:

  • Low sodium choices
  • Foods low in added sugar
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Foods low in saturated fat
  • Plenty of water

Make regular exercise a priority

Staying active has a long list of health benefits. It increases flexibility and balance, reduces the risk of falls, improves mental health, helps to manage chronic diseases, and more. The CDC recommends a goal of 150 minutes of moderate exercise like walking every week (or 22-30 minutes a day). It is also recommended to participate in a strength training activity twice a week. 3

Be sure to get enough sleep

Daily exercise also improves your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Proper sleep not only helps you to function better during the day, but also reduces your risk for problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and depression. 4 The National Institute on Aging recommends older adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 5

Avoid tobacco and alcohol

It’s no secret that the use of substances like tobacco and alcohol can negatively impact your health. Smoking is known to reduce life expectancy by as much as 10 years. 6 And older adults are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, with the result leading to problems like interactions with prescription medications, increased risk of falls, dehydration, and other health problems. 7

If you smoke, make quitting a priority. And if you drink, limit your alcohol consumption. Some resources to help you are the National Quit Smoking Hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP.

Caring for your mental health

Taking care of your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health. Older adults affected by depression, anxiety, loneliness, and stress can develop age-related physical diseases and neurodegenerative problems and experience reduced life expectancy by as much as 20 years.8

Treat depression and anxiety

If you’re feeling down or anxious and it’s affecting your ability to function or enjoy life, it’s important to seek help. These are not problems that you can just “will away” or that are a sign of a personal flaw. They can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that can be treated with medications, and seeking regular therapy can help you manage the symptoms of problems like depression and anxiety.

Don’t ignore isolation and loneliness

Older adults who are no longer in the workforce, or whose children have moved away, can easily become isolated and lonely. This can be worsened even further if health problems limit a person’s ability to leave their home, and as close friends age and pass away.

Loneliness is a known risk factor for depression. It’s important to make regular social contact a part of your life, by taking steps to stay connected socially, such as volunteering, joining a class, and other activities.

Take steps to reduce stress

Another trigger of difficulties with mental health is stress. Along with causing depression and anxiety, stress can affect physical health, too. The CDC estimates that 75% of visits to the doctor are due to problems caused by stress. 9 Before stress has this kind of impact on your well-being, you can take steps to reduce its effects. Taking time for self-care, including many of the healthy habits discussed above, can help you cope with stress better.

Caring for your cognitive health

Aging can sometimes have an impact on cognitive health, too. This is a part of brain health that affects how well someone can think, remember, and learn. Along with following all of the above tips for healthy aging to support your brain health, there are a few other lifestyle tips you can consider. By doing so, research has shown a potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 60%.10

Consider participating in the arts

Research has found that being involved in theater, music, dance and other art has a positive impact on well-being and cognitive function. 11

Learn something new

Evidence suggests that learning a new skill, and engaging in new complex tasks over a period of time, can have a positive effect on cognitive function.12

Exercise your brain

Crossword and jigsaw puzzles, card games, online games, chess, and similar cognitively challenging exercises can help keep your mind active and sharp, much like exercising a muscle. In a 2014 study, researchers found that participants in brain training exercises had benefits 10 years later. 13

Live a healthier, longer life thanks to healthy habits

By taking care of your physical, mental, and cognitive health, you can be sure you are well on your way to a healthier, longer life. Each of these healthy behaviors requires building habits if they aren’t already something you are doing. And it’s important to be patient with yourself– building a new habit can take time, sometimes months. 14

It can help to break these habits into smaller goals- if you are trying to eat healthier and stay better hydrated, tackle hydration first, for example. Or, if you’re trying to exercise more, spend 10 minutes a day exercising and slowly increase it.

It also helps to involve other people in your goals. Maybe a friend has a similar goal and you can work together on meeting it. Or, maybe you need a little extra support from family. This can be especially true if you are older with health challenges or limited mobility that restricts what you can do without physical help.

Even in this situation, you can still make sure your lifestyle supports healthy aging. One way you can do this is by enlisting the help of an in-home care service. By helping you with transportation, mobility, and daily self-care, a professional caregiver can give you the ability to do activities that will keep you healthy and as independent as possible for as long as possible.

If you are considering a professional caregiver, Caresify is available to help you explore assistance with your care needs at home. You can read more here, or call 888-799-5007.

References

  1. https://www.prb.org/resources/fact-sheet-aging-in-the-united-states/
  2. https://health.gov/news/202107/nutrition-we-age-healthy-eating-dietary-guidelines
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/healthy-aging.htm
  4. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep-deprivation
  5. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/index.htm
  7. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/elderly
  8. https://www.studyfinds.org/mental-illness-cut-life-20-years/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/#b7-mjms-15-4-009
  10. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults#mind
  11. https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/participating-arts-creates-paths-healthy-aging
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4154531/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055506/
  14. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.674

FAQs

What tips would you give a patient on healthy aging? ›

Stay Connected
  • Get moving: Exercise and physical activity.
  • Healthy eating: Make smart food choices.
  • Getting a good night's sleep.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Alcohol and other substances.
  • Go to the doctor regularly.
  • Social isolation and loneliness.
  • Stress.
3 days ago

How aging adults can care for themselves at home? ›

Find a volunteer senior companion program in your area. Use a respite care service to get a longer break. Sign up for a meal delivery service or Meals on Wheels to reduce the number of meals you need to make. Ask family or close friends to help run errands, do some light housekeeping, or prepare some meals.

What are the five things you must consider when you taking care of an elderly? ›

5 Biggest Considerations When Caring for an Elderly Parent
  • Your Current Work/Life Balance Level. ...
  • The Roles Others in the Family Can Play. ...
  • What Type of Care Does Your Parent Really Need? ...
  • What Is Your Level of Physical, Emotional, and Financial Health? ...
  • Is Your Parent in Agreement with a Caregiving Arrangement?
18 Sept 2014

Why healthy Ageing is important? ›

Summary. Some of the benefits of staying active and healthy as you get older include increasing wellbeing and participation, recovering from illness more quickly, reducing the risk of getting chronic disease, and preventing falls.

What is the concept of healthy Ageing? ›

WHO defines healthy ageing as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.” Functional ability is about having the capabilities that enable all people to be and do what they have reason to value.

How do you take care of elderly parents at home? ›

How To Take Care Of Elderly Parents At Home
  1. Share care. ...
  2. Use adult day care. ...
  3. Hire free or low-cost companion care. ...
  4. Check out your backyard. ...
  5. Get creative with financial tools. ...
  6. Investigate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits. ...
  7. Moving in with a relative, friend, or neighbor. ...
  8. Shared family and paid caregiving.
29 Nov 2020

How can I be a better caregiver for the elderly? ›

Tip Sheet: How to Be the Best Caregiver You Can Be
  1. Build Confidence. ...
  2. Exercise Compassion. ...
  3. Avoid Useless Gestures. ...
  4. Don't Hesitate to Act. ...
  5. Offer Words of Encouragement. ...
  6. Check in Often to Show you Care. ...
  7. Take Care of Yourself. ...
  8. Ask Questions about Care Procedures You Are Not Comfortable Doing.

What do elderly need the most? ›

What Services Do Seniors Need Most?
  • Cleaning and Home Maintenance. Living in a safe, clean, and organized environment is vital for aging seniors. ...
  • Mobility Strategies and Resources. ...
  • Personal Care Standards. ...
  • Transportation. ...
  • Medication Control. ...
  • Nutrition Assistance.
22 Aug 2021

What is important to remember when providing care adults 80 and older? ›

Regarding physical health, you should ensure that the elderly person you are caring for does some form of exercise regularly to boost their fitness and help prevent disease. Privacy matters. Always remember that privacy, as well as confidentiality, are very important factors when it comes to elderly care.

What are the most important things to remember when performing personal care? ›

Assessment of Personal Care Needs

always take the individual's lifestyle choices into consideration and respect their wishes, eg choice of dress and hairstyle. consider cultural factors. consider communication needs. avoid making assumptions about appropriate standards of hygiene for individuals.

How do you prepare for aging parents? ›

Use Our Aging Parents Checklist to Prepare for the Future
  1. Make a Senior Care Plan. ...
  2. Look Out for Red Flags. ...
  3. Get Financial Planning Pieces in Place. ...
  4. Make Sure Daily Nutritional Needs Are Met. ...
  5. Prioritize Routine Exercise and Activity. ...
  6. Schedule Access for Favorite Activities and Social Gatherings. ...
  7. Monitor Medication.
25 May 2022

What is positive and healthy ageing? ›

What is healthy ageing? ability that enables wellbeing in older age,' where 'functional ability comprises the health-related attributes that enable people to be and to do what they have reason to value'.

How do you manage aging? ›

Tips for aging gracefully
  1. Be kind to your skin. Your skin is your body's largest organ . ...
  2. Exercise. ...
  3. Mind your diet. ...
  4. Mental health matters. ...
  5. Stay physically active. ...
  6. Lower your stress. ...
  7. Quit smoking and decrease alcohol consumption. ...
  8. Get enough sleep.
18 Jun 2019

What are the 3 domains of healthy aging? ›

This definition distinguishes the three components of healthy ageing: intrinsic capacity, functional ability, and environments.

What are the three common components of positive healthy aging? ›

There is no 'one description fits all' for successful aging. In the 1990's, doctors Rowe and Kahn defined successful aging as “avoiding disease and disability, high cognitive and physical function, and engagement with life.” While this definition has become widely accepted, it is limiting.

Why should we take care of our elderly parents? ›

We get to experience life through our physical body. We earn money, enjoy life, go through various experiences of life only because we have a physical body. Our physical body is loaned to us by our parents. So, this one reason is enough to take care of parents.

What are 5 qualities of a good caregiver? ›

Here are some of the best traits that every caregiver should have:
  • Patience. Those who provide home care to others need to be patient. ...
  • Compassion. When someone has compassion for another they have an understanding of what the person is going through.
  • Attentiveness. ...
  • Dependability. ...
  • Trustworthiness.

What are the 3 most important qualities of a good carer? ›

The qualities you should see in a great carer are:
  • Being Passionate about their Job. A good carer is passionate about the care they provide and the needs of the people they care for. ...
  • Empathy and Patience. ...
  • Being Positive and Encouraging. ...
  • Reliable and Respectful of Choices. ...
  • Being Observant with Excellent Communication Skills.
12 Jan 2022

What are 5 responsibilities of caregivers? ›

Take a look at these top caregiver responsibilities:
  • Assess medical needs. Checking on your senior loved one's health is an important caregiver responsibility. ...
  • Prepare a care plan. ...
  • Assist with basic needs. ...
  • Provide companionship. ...
  • Help with housekeeping. ...
  • Monitor medications. ...
  • Assess your care plan regularly. ...
  • Prepare meals.
5 Nov 2020

What are the 7 physical needs of the elderly? ›

Even the older adults in the last stages of their life have physical needs like maintaining the hygiene of the oral mouth, nutritional needs, routine hygiene care, bowel and bladder care, and adequate sleep.

What do old people need at home? ›

Elder Care Products and Equipment
  • Personal Alert System (a wearable electronic device designed to summon help in an emergency)
  • Toilet seat riser.
  • Bidet attachment for toilet.
  • Grab bars for the bathroom near the toilet and shower.
  • Hand-held shower head.
  • Bathtub/shower transfer bench.
  • Stepless/walk-in bathtub or shower.

What are the 5 basic activities of daily living where a person needs assistance? ›

The basic ADLs (BADL) or physical ADLs are those skills required to manage one's basic physical needs, including personal hygiene or grooming, dressing, toileting, transferring or ambulating, and eating.

Do you think old people should be taken care of at home? ›

Home Care Preserves Health and Independence

Being able to live at home offers a sense of comfort and independence. Elderly care at home can also help patients maintain or even increase confidence levels. Living in a nursing home or assisted living facility can make a person feel defeated, helpless, or even bitter.

When caring for an elderly patient it is important to remember that? ›

When caring for an elderly​ patient, it is important to remember​ that: Elderly patients should be addressed directly and with respect.

What are the challenges in caring for the elderly? ›

Problems With Mobility And Everyday Tasks

As people age, their dexterity and mobility naturally decline. This can make completing everyday tasks challenging, including things like meal preparation and feeding, bathing, grooming and dressing. In some cases, you may take on all of these tasks as the caregiver.

How do you maintain dignity when providing personal care? ›

Maintaining dignity and respect in care
  1. Engage in friendly conversations. Come up with fun talking points with the person you are taking care of. ...
  2. Listening to them attentively. Even if you're in the middle of something else, prioritize your patient's demands. ...
  3. Always speak to them in a polite tone. ...
  4. Respect their opinions.

What is personal care in aged care? ›

Personal care is a broad term used to refer to supporting with personal hygiene and toileting, along with dressing and maintaining your personal appearance. It can cover, but is not limited to: Bathing and showering, including bed-baths. Support with shaving.

What is important when providing personal care? ›

Personal Care involves support with every day tasks such as washing, bathing, dressing and using the bathroom and toilet. Hygiene is important to keep a happy and healthy frame of mind. We want our clients to feel comfortable and most importantly, cared for and content.

How do you take care of your mother? ›

4 great ways to show your mother how much you care
  1. Ask your mother what she needs and wants. One of the easiest and most efficient ways to show your mom you care is to just come out and ask her how you can show your appreciation. ...
  2. Give your mother a day off. ...
  3. Communicate with your mother. ...
  4. Let your mother be who she is.

What to say to aging parents? ›

Eight Tips for Talking to Your Aging Parents About Important...
  • Empathize with feelings. ...
  • Practice good communication skills. ...
  • Let your parent be part of the decision-making process. ...
  • Start your discussions early. ...
  • Include other family members. ...
  • Agree to disagree. ...
  • Strive to honor and respect your parents.

What health promotion strategies would you recommend to promote successful aging? ›

  • Receiving timely and effective medical care.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eating nutritious meals.
  • Getting the right amount of sleep.
  • Consistently getting adequate exercise.
  • Avoiding excessive use of alcohol, smoking and other non-healthy habits.
  • Maintaining social stimulation.
  • Maintaining mental stimulation.
13 Nov 2020

What are 10 recommendations you would make to an older person to maintain their body as healthily as possible? ›

Consider helping your aging loved one incorporate these 10 geriatric care tips to help improve their overall health and wellness.
  • Eat healthy. ...
  • Focus on prevention. ...
  • Stay informed on medication management. ...
  • Get some sleep. ...
  • Remember cognitive health. ...
  • Screen for vision changes. ...
  • Socialize. ...
  • Stay physically active.
24 Feb 2022

How can we give awareness on a successful aging? ›

Rowe and Kahn stated that successful aging involved three main factors: (1) being free of disability or disease, (2) having high cognitive and physical abilities, and (3) interacting with others in meaningful ways.

How do you manage aging? ›

Use these tips to help you age gracefully from the inside out.
  1. Be kind to your skin. Your skin is your body's largest organ . ...
  2. Exercise. ...
  3. Mind your diet. ...
  4. Mental health matters. ...
  5. Stay physically active. ...
  6. Lower your stress. ...
  7. Quit smoking and decrease alcohol consumption. ...
  8. Get enough sleep.
18 Jun 2019

What are the emotional needs of an elderly person? ›

Age can wear down autonomy and independence, but people of all ages want to feel a sense of control over their lives. If you can empower loved ones to take on simple day-to-day tasks, that will often help restore a sense of control. Likewise, people also like to feel a sense of purpose.

How do you promote a patient's physical health and wellbeing? ›

  1. Surround with a healing environment.
  2. Nourish with good food.
  3. Beat loneliness with human interaction.
  4. Offer activity and encourage physical movement.
  5. Provide information and psychological support.
  6. Focus on family-centred care.
  7. Ensure aftercare and support the wider community.
9 Sept 2019

What are 5 things older adults can do to improve their self image as they age? ›

5 Things Older Adults Can Do to Improve Their Self-Esteem as They Age
  • Make Strong Social Bonds. Meaningful personal connections ground us and boost our confidence. ...
  • Practice Good Personal Hygiene. ...
  • Avoid Negative Stereotypes That Can Impact Self-Esteem. ...
  • Eat Healthy and Stay Active. ...
  • Practice Independence Whenever Possible.
7 Jul 2021

What are health tips? ›

27 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based
  • Limit sugary drinks. ...
  • Eat nuts and seeds. ...
  • Avoid ultra-processed foods. ...
  • Don't fear coffee. ...
  • Eat fatty fish. ...
  • Get enough sleep. ...
  • Feed your gut bacteria. ...
  • Stay hydrated.

What factors can influence successful aging? ›

The three principal components in the successful aging model developed by Rowe and Kahn, “absence of disease and disease-related disability,” “maintenance of high mental and physical function,” and “continued engagement with life,” were used to determine successful aging.

What is the concept of ageing? ›

Aging is a gradual, continuous process of natural change that begins in early adulthood. During early middle age, many bodily functions begin to gradually decline. People do not become old or elderly at any specific age. Traditionally, age 65 has been designated as the beginning of old age.

How do you stay healthy at 70? ›

If you're over age 65, here's what you can do to strengthen your immune system to help ward off the flu and other viruses.
  1. Get a flu vaccination. ...
  2. Eat a nutrient-dense diet. ...
  3. Keep moving. ...
  4. Manage stress. ...
  5. Get plenty of sleep. ...
  6. Support your gut health. ...
  7. Quit smoking. ...
  8. Spend time outdoors.

How do you stay healthy at 80? ›

Stay physically active

Exercise with the goals of increasing strength and coordination. Try to do something every day to maintain your muscle strength and conditioning. Senior exercise classes, swimming, and mall walking are great choices. If illness or injury slows you down, make rehabilitation a top priority.

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