10 Healthy Habits for Seniors

People who had good healthy habits when they were younger tend to become healthy seniors, but
it is never too late. Good health habits can make a difference even to seniors who are prone to
illness or have not made their health a priority in the past.

Consider these 10 tips for keeping up with the health needs of a parent or senior loved one:

1. Eat healthy

The digestive system slows down with age, so high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains are
as important as ever. Because seniors are prone to dehydration, they should drink plenty of water
to stay energized and sharp.

2. Focus on prevention

Preventative care visits, including health screenings for cholesterol levels, colon cancer, heart problems and more, qualify for Medicare coverage. Seniors also need to get vaccinations that can help prevent influenza and pneumonia.

3. Get information on medication management

Ask about and review the senior’s medications with their physician on a regular basis. Consider
possible drug interactions and take note of any new symptoms (allergic reactions, drowsiness,
loss of appetite and others) the senior shows after changing or starting medications.

4. Get some sleep

Frequent waking and insomnia in the night are common among seniors. Turn the lights down in
the evening to spur drowsiness and make sure the senior’s bedroom is comfortable, cool and
quiet.

5. Remember mental health.

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation recommends that seniors do crossword puzzles, read
and write and try new hobbies to stimulate their minds and engage with the world around them.
Activities like these can ward off a decline in mental health.

6. Screen for vision changes.

Seniors who wear glasses should have their prescription checked every year for changes and
have their eyes screened for health issues. Having the right pair of glasses can reduce a senior’s chance of falling.

7. Socialize.

Time spent with family and friends help seniors feel connected, especially if they have mobility
issues. Those visits can also make seniors feel more upbeat, which is the best medicine at any
age.

8. Exercise

Exercise not only alleviates depression but improves energy and memory. An exercise program
approved by a physician, long walks or short strolls can keep seniors healthier longer.
With their health under control, seniors can do more and stay active, which is important to their overall well-being. Happy, healthy seniors can still present a lot of care challenges, but they can also contribute more to their health, which can give caregivers a little less to worry about.

9. Annual wellness checks

Your doctor can provide preventive services to help you avoid health problems or to identify
them early. In many cases, problems that are found early are more likely to better respond to
treatment.

10. Visit the dentist every six months

Our risk for cavities goes up with age. Plus, many mouth infections can be linked to serious
health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. So seniors should see the
dentist regularly.

Physician appointments, dental check-ups, medications – the list of a senior’s
health needs go on. If you find yourself or a loved is struggling managing health
concerns, you should discuss it with your doctor, Aegis Homecare suggests using
our doctor’s visit questionnaire  here that you can print and
complete prior to your appointment.

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