When we are young, the thought of getting old might scare us. And rightly so. Old age is fraught with health risks, both physical and mental. The scariest thought, however, is giving up on your independence. No one wants to be dependent on other people for their well-being.
But we are bound to become old. According to the statistics, after the age of 65, people are expected to live 19.3 more years on average. We don’t have to spend those twenty years as if we’re barely alive. There are ways to improve the quality of life that enables you to get the most out of it. The ever-changing world still has a lot to offer. Make sure you’re there to witness it when it happens. With that said, here are some of the health risks most common in older people or senior citizens and some tips to help you prevent them.
Heart-related diseases are the number one cause of death in senior people. As you get older, all the junk food you ate and the bad living habits you had when you were young start to show their effects. It is common for older people to have abnormal blood pressure, which can be high or low. High levels of cholesterol also contribute to heart diseases. It can lead to heart attacks and strokes too.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis
Probably the first time you notice that you’re getting old is when your joints are all stiff. Arthritis is the medical condition where all your body joints become stiff, causing you great pain and difficulty in moving. It is most common in older people. Osteoporosis means weakening of bones. Your bones become porous and less dense as you age, resulting in mobility issues and pain.
Cancer can affect anyone at any time, but it spreads more rapidly in older people. According to the statistics, nearly 45% of people aged over 65 die from cancer. There are various forms of cancer that afflict senior people, the most common are skin cancer, breast cancer, and brain tumors.
As you get older, your senses become dull. A minor decrease in senses such as hearing, vision, smell, taste, and touch is quite normal. But it can also be a sign of major mental impairment. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are common neurological problems in people reaching old age.
Becoming old not only means a decrease in cognitive functions but also physical as well. Losing control of muscles and limbs is pretty normal. Your range of motion also becomes limited when you get older. These conditions contribute majorly to accidents falls and trips. It is also a leading cause of death in old people. Since most senior citizens live alone, it can take quite a while for help to reach them, which proves lethal. That’s why slip and fall lawyers exist, to handle the legal repercussions of death due to falls.
How to Improve your Overall Health in Old age and Prevent health risks
Living healthy shouldn’t start when you’ve already reached old age. It should begin when you’re still young so that you can prevent the above-mentioned health risks and many other minor problems that you are bound to encounter in old age.
Start with a well-balanced diet
Eating healthy is the key to everything. When you are no longer feeding toxic substances into your system and replace it with healthier alternatives, your body will automatically start functioning better. You don’t have to entirely give up on fast food and cakes, just limit them. Eat a well-balanced diet. Consulting a dietitian about it should be your first move.
Do light exercises regularly
It is pretty easy to give up on exercise once you’re old. Because all of your muscles and joints are hurting, not moving sounds like the best solution. However, you’re wrong. Not moving means you are not using those muscles anymore, which only escalates the problem. Make sure you do light exercises regularly. A two-hour walk sounds ideal but if you cannot stay standing for that long, try yoga.
Don’t neglect your doctor’s Visit
Health complications and numerous other problems are always occupied when you are old. The best way to manage them and staying up-to-date about your body is visiting your doctor. Regular check-ups not only help in early diagnosis of diseases but also prevent them from spreading further in your body. Your doctor can also give you great advice regarding the dos and don’ts of healthy living in old age.
Stay in touch with People
Most senior citizens either live alone or stay cooped up in special houses that are isolated from the rest of the world. Loneliness is a real thing and people suffer from it. Especially in old age, when having someone to talk to directly impacts one’s health. Socializing with people and having fun with friends can do wonders for your health. If you don’t have anyone you’re close to, try support groups, you’ll find people in a similar situation to yours.
Find yourself a New Purpose
Retiring from work doesn’t mean your life doesn’t have a purpose anymore. Many senior people go into depression when they retire because they think their lives are meaningless. If you truly want to live healthy in both body and mind, you need to find a new purpose or goal. It could be an activity you enjoy, a hobby, a new small business, giving to charity, etc. Just make sure you stay active while doing something that gives you piece of mind.