Jan 5, 2018 by Stephanie Howe - Owner, Comfort Keepers
Eight Tips for Staying Healthy After Retirement (Part 1)
It's a common misconception that aging has to mean becoming ill and infirmed, but that's not necessarily the case. While it's true that elderly bodies lose muscle mass are more susceptible to illness, a combination of luck and a good lifestyle has many feeling healthy and well 80s and even 90s. All it takes is thought, dedication, and perhaps a little help from a caregiver to keep you on the healthy path.
You know what's good for you in general and the internet is full of resources for finding out healthy recipes to try with your caregiver. Of course, your health is about more than just your stomach.
Your skin, eyes, teeth, cardiovascular system, bones, and even your mind are part of staying happy and capable so that your retirement years can be as fun as you always imagined. Here are our eight tips for staying healthy well into your old age.
1) Wear Sunscreen
As Baz Lurhmann reminded us all back in '97, if there's one piece of advice we should pass on to future generations, it's wearing sunscreen. While you may have always walked freely in direct sunlight boldly getting a tan where others shelter in the shade, you should still probably consider sunscreen as you age.
The older your skin gets, the more susceptible you become to skin cancer spots due to sun exposure and skin cancer can potentially get much worse than the occasional itchy mole. Sunscreen will allow you to enjoy the warm sunlight of your backyard or favorite park without worry about any lurking health concerns.
2) Stay Current on Immunizations and Health Screenings
As your body gets older, your spare energy for fighting illness is lowered and you may need a little help keeping viruses and other health issues at bay. Make sure to visit your doctor regularly and stay current on all immunizations.
Get your flu shot every year and consider anything your doctor suggests including screenings. As you hit certain mile markers age-wise, doctors are obliged to check for things like cholesterol, cancer, bone density, and osteoarthritis which could all reveal potential health problems in your future. By staying up to date on immunizations and screenings, you will be prepared for any upcoming risks.
3) Stay Physically Active
Staying active is incredibly important for maintaining your health as you age. If you let your body wind down and stop working, it will continue to wind down. However, if you make sure to at least go for regular walks, your body will see that you still intend to use it for a good long time.
This will promote continued muscle maintenance and allow you to keep some your strength and original energy level. Exercise is also a great way to help you achieve an optimal weight so that your bones and muscles aren't burdened by carrying around extra pounds. Make sure to stay involved in something you enjoy like walking, swimming, or a low-impact sport like frisbee golf that can be done with a caregiver.
4) Check Your Vision, Hearing, and Dental Annually
Some things about aging happen even if you take good care of yourself, and they can happen so slowly it's hard for a non-medical-professional to notice. Make sure to visit your Optometrist, Dentist, and hearing specialist about once a year to ensure that everything is still in good condition.
Don't be surprised if you start experiencing mild hearing loss or you discover that you are slowly forming cataracts. This happens to a lot of elderly people and can be accommodated as long as you catch it early.
Taking care of yourself and guiding others to help you with this task means knowing what your body is up to. As we age, the body makes a few decisions for us like whether or not your knees are up for certain activities. By knowing what your body can and can't do, you become able to optimize the energy, capabilities, and health you do have.
One of the best ways to make the most of your retirement is to hire in-home care to take care of everything that you no longer find comfortable dusting upper shelves or standing for an hour to cook a healthy meal. Thanks for joining us for part one of this two-part series on staying healthy. Stay tuned for part two where we cover the right diet choices, fall prevention, and more!
If you live in Robbinsville or the surrounding New Jersey area and are thinking about hiring in-home care for yourself or a relative, please contact us online or call 609-890-2888 today!