There are so many misconceptions and myths surrounding aging that people are almost scared of growing old. It is beyond a doubt that as one grows old, one comes across many major shifts in their life. The transition changes your body and abilities that require you to adjust things ranging from healthcare to career. Contrary to widespread belief, senior living options are more accessible and varied, allowing you to choose according to your needs and lifestyle. Here are some tips that can help you make the best of your senior life transition.
1. Identify Your Need
As you transition into senior life, your needs and desires change depending on changes in your body and life. Senior care is not a one-size-fits-all service. The kind of care one needs depends on their health and medical conditions; care for seniors with Parkinson’s will require a different kind of specialization than for the care required by seniors with Alzheimer’s. It is hence crucial to identify your present as well as anticipated needs for your life. It doesn’t mean that you do not have to understand your needs in such detail if you have a healthier lifestyle. Your dietary needs, medication, treatments, hobbies, special needs, and so on are all relevant areas of assistance you have to have to lead a balanced senior. Listing them out makes it easier for your care providers to understand your requirements and also in case there are special accommodations that need to be made. This exercise can also make it easy to formulate your budget for your care.
2. Know Your Healthcare
Your healthcare details consist of the medical conditions you have, the insurance you are using, the doctors you consult, the treatment you seek, and the medications you take. Having a good understanding of your medical history is incredibly important for your well-being as a senior. It allows you and your care providers to ensure you maintain your quality of life. This also means understanding crucial details such as the kind of medical insurance you are using and what is covered under it. If you use health insurance from the government, you might want to check if it includes dental and vision insurance for seniors as sometimes that is not covered under a government plan. Knowing your insurance will also help you keep track of coverage of medications and treatments for your medical conditions. This will allow you to make changes in your insurance plan in advance in case you need medication or treatment that is not covered by the plan. Be sure to maintain all records of your medical history properly for times of need.
3. Explore New Interests
During your life, you often don’t have time or resources to try many things you want to. Retiring and growing old, however, free up more of your time during the day and weeks. This is a great chance to discover and explore new avenues of hobbies and interests that you previously might not have had the chance for. It is a common belief that as people age, it is important for them to maintain old habits and lifestyles to keep cognitive faculties active and that trying new habits or hobbies is very difficult. That might as well be a myth. Many health care professionals and thought leaders are actively debunking this notion that it is difficult for the elderly to venture into new hobbies. It is believed that by stimulating an encouraging environment, seniors can be assisted to pick up new skills and hobbies, just like children are taught to do so. Not only can it be very stimulating for the mind and keep them mentally fit, but it can also be very refreshing.
4. Stay Connected With Family & Friends
Human beings are social creatures by nature. It is well known from research that loneliness and social isolation felt by elderly people can often lead to severe mental and physical health issues such as depression and cardiac diseases. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain social connections as you grow old. Thankfully, with innovations in communication technologies, staying in touch with your family, friends, and community has become easy and accessible. Emails, text messages, phone calls, and video calls have reduced distances, albeit virtually, so much that one doesn’t feel as socially disconnected as before. It might be worth your while to learn how to operate smartphones and tablets to connect with your loved ones as seniors. That is if you haven’t already.
Some Tips For The Seniors To Stay Healthy and Fit
Mostly, the immune system of people who are 65 or older is not as good as that of youngsters. Even minor health issues, like flu and cold, can lead to complications, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infection, etc. If you are also in the same age bracket, then these lifestyle changes can help you stay healthy year-round.
1. Stay Active
Physical activities play a significant role in boosting the immune system of the body. The more active you are, the more your body will be able to fight infections and inflammation. However, that doesn’t mean you have to practice intense cardio sessions. Low-impact exercises or even regular walking will do the job. You can also consider sports, like swimming, biking, aerobics, etc.
2. Take the Necessary Supplements
Supplements are a great source of minerals that are required by the human body for overall well-being. However, don’t forget to consult your doctor before trying any medication all by yourself. A healthcare specialist may recommend supplements with calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 for bone health and immunity boost.
3. Eat Healthily
With physical activity and supplements, it is important to add healthy food to your diet as well, like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, etc. These nutritious foods will make your body strong enough to fight against harmful bacteria and viruses.
Besides, limiting fatty and sugary food consumption will also benefit you in a long run.
4. Wash Hands Frequently
Washing hands regularly is another great way of staying healthy for a senior. Viruses and bacteria live on surfaces for more than 24 hours. So, contaminating your hands with virus-covered surfaces can make you sick. It is suggested to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. It is best to avoid touching your mouth, nose, or face with your hands.
Another option is to always travel with antibacterial hand sanitizer, just in case you can’t wash your hands on the go. Also, don’t forget to disinfect your homes and workstations regularly.
5. Manage Stress
Stress can increase the production of cortisol – a primary stress hormone. This can disturb several functions of the body, especially the immune system. Increased physical activity, healthy sleep patterns, and positive surroundings can help you fight stress.
6. Prevent Infections
If you are 65 or older, getting annual vaccinations is crucial to stay healthy. That’s because when you age, your body gets weak and may not be able to fight several infections and diseases. For example, if you live in the US, talk to your doctor and get the flu vaccine between October and May. It takes around two weeks for the vaccine to be effective.
Life as a senior can have challenges in areas, such as health. It can also be extremely joyous if you follow some basic tips to meet your needs and allow for new experiences while staying in touch with loved ones.
Staying fit should be your number one priority as a senior. Regular check-ups, important supplements, and annual vaccinations shouldn’t be missed either to ensure great health year-round.