Many people fear getting old, but there’s no reason for all the fear. Getting older is something that people tend to see as out of our control, and to a certain extent, it is. The years will pass by, and the memories will grow older by the day, but we can control how gracefully we take on our body’s aging process.
The first step to aging with style and grace is to realize that healthy elderly people aren’t blessed with a gift from God, they have taken good care of their body and mind. Hence their body and mind take care of them.
Although disease and bad luck do play a part, the more you to stay active and healthy, the lower your chances are of suffering from things like bone and muscle disease.
The negative stigma associated with aging comes from a few key fears that people have which include; loss of independence, health complications, being unable to live alone, losing your spouse, loneliness, loss of ability like driving or performing household tasks, and the fear of injury from falling.
All of the above fears and issues with growing old are completely legitimate. However, keep in mind that healthy elderly people and those who wish to remain healthy fight those fears every day, it doesn’t mean you can no longer live your life. In fact, in many cases working every day to remain healthy gives seniors a new outlook on life.
Before we talk about how to stay healthy, there are a few basic health complications associated with different parts of the body that you will want to know about as you grow older.
Here are some of the common problem areas:
We’ve all heard the horror stories about perfectly healthy elderly people slipping and breaking their hip and dying from it. As we age, our bones often suffer a significant loss in density and their ability to heal properly.
Brittle bones often lead to a fragile bone disease called osteoporosis, which is more common in women than men. The decay of your bones can be pushed back with the help of your doctor, proper nutrition, exercise, and supplement intake.
If your bones are already causing you everyday suffering, a pain management doctor may be able to help.
It’s common for senior’s hearts to grow abnormally large in old age. Proper diet and regular exercise can mitigate this; however, it is something you and your doctor should keep tabs on.
Your mind, Nerves, and Senses
Of course, one of the scariest things about getting old to many people is the risk of dementia. Remember, most people don’t suffer from dementia. However, it is completely normal to suffer some memory loss. A healthy diet with foods that are good for brain functionality can mitigate some of the normal memory loss that even very healthy elderly people experience.
As you get older your nerves and therefore your senses have a tendency to dull. They are getting old just like the rest of your body, so they require more to be stimulated. This is why people often need to enlist the help of hearing aid services. Likely, your sense of sight, hearing, touch, and taste will become duller than you are used to.
You might start to notice your eyesight beginning to dull, which is most likely to be a result of your eye changing shape as you age, which happens to nearly everyone. However, there is a chance that it is the result of disease; in this case, you will want to consult an eye disease care specialist.
It’s completely normal for all of the above complications to occur as you age. However, these aren’t things to fear, but rather things to be prepared for.
There’s a reason why there’s that classic cartoon image of a set of dentures floating in solution on the bedside table at grandma’s house. Many elderly people have dentures or porcelain veneers to compensate for the decay of our teeth as we grow old.
As we get older, the hard enamel on the outside of your teeth (what they fill if you have a cavity) will grow weaker and may even decay to the point where you need dentures. Again, this is even normal in healthy elderly people.
Our skin loses its elasticity as we age, it’s a simple truth. Though our skin suffering from age is the most common of aging processes, it can still be very upsetting to people. This can be scary for people, and it makes sense when you consider that 55% percent of a person’s option of someone they’ve just met is determined by physical appearance. You have spent your whole life looking at people and making certain determinations about them. When you look at yourself and see an old person, it’s only logical to think others see the same thing. That’s scary, there are no two ways about it.
Taking proper care of your skin at a young age is the best way to mitigate ski aging down the line. Not smoking, eating healthy vitamin-rich food, and getting a lot of exercises all may slow the aging process of your skin. If you do all these things and still see your skin aging rapidly, botox injections are, of course, an option. However, they should be considered a last option rather than the easiest solution.
Your body will experience changes as you age. Even healthy elderly people will start to notice changes as the years go on. It’s completely normal to experience a certain level of fear associated with the aging process. However, if you take things head-on and really dedicate yourself to taking good care of your mind and your body, this process can be much less scary than many people think.
Tips to Aging with Grace
Coming to terms with some of the major changes that your body and mind will go through as you grow old is one of the biggest steps you can take towards aging with grace. However, there are a few things you can do every day that will help you slow the aging process dramatically. Here are some of the best things to do to remain healthy in your senior years.
Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is the absolute best thing you can do to stay young at heart. So, if you have always been an active person, keep it up! However, if you have lived a relatively sedentary life up in until now, you will want to start exercising while you still can. The old you get, the more difficult it will become to adopt an active lifestyle, so waste not, the time has come to get up and move.
People often thing staying active means running 10 miles a day, it doesn’t. Especially if you are growing older. Staying active might mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or something as simple as opting for manual wheelchairs rather than electric ones.
Eat a Healthy Diet
This one is easy. The better you eat, the better you will feel. It’s important to focus on lowering your salt levels while making sure to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Eating a proper diet can help your skin, eyesight, and memory. If you have specific problem areas that you want to focus your diet on supplementing, enlisting the help of a senior nutritionist may do wonders.
Remember, healthy elderly people, drink lots and lots of water. Whether it’s bottled water, tap water, or mineral water, drink as much of it as you reasonably can. Six glasses a day is a great goal to shoot for.
Set Yourself up for Success
It’s no wonder why so many seniors prefer one-floor living, it’s safer. Making decisions and taking precautions around your home could save you from considerable heartache and worry. Installing handrails in the bathroom, and non-slip stickers to stairs and any potential slip zone might save you from a broken hip.
Listen to Your Doctor, and See them Often
Listening to the medical professionals that are trying to help you sounds easy, but for many people, it isn’t. If you are going to maintain a healthy life into your later years, then you will need to take what your doctor says seriously and do your best to follow their orders.
For your people this is no problem at all. However, even healthy elderly people have a hard time getting enough sleep. Having a regular bedtime and scheduled wake-up time that allows for 7-9 hours of sleep each night will help your body fight the aging process tremendously.
If you have a hard time getting to sleep or remaining asleep, there are, of course, sleeping pills that you and your doctor could consider. There are also natural supplements such as melatonin that help a considerable amount with regards to obtaining proper sleep.
Stay Socially Active
People’s senior years can often feel lonely or isolating. These feelings can increase the speed of the aging process. To mitigate feelings of loneliness, you should make an effort to stay in touch with any family you have and cultivate friendships with the people you care about. It’s true that as we get older, we lose friends and family members, which is all the more reason to cherish those relationships that do remain.
Many towns have Senior Centers that are designed specifically to help connect healthy elderly people. If you are feeling lonely, you might want to take a trip to the Senior Center and see what it has in store for you. Chances are, you might make a few friends.
Take Advantage of Senior Living Resources
If you aren’t the type of person who has considered relocating to a senior living facility, you might want to do some research. Senior living can be very beneficial even to healthy elderly people, despite the negative connotations that are often associated with such facilities. Senior living offers people the opportunity to stay active, maintain a healthy diet, and meet likeminded people of the same age demographic, all of which are things that can significantly help aid in the aging process.
While considering all the benefits of senior living, you will also want to consider some of the risks. Doing diligent research could save you from needing a nursing home abuse attorney, or a medical malpractice lawyer. Issues with abuse and the mistreating of people in senior living facilities are rare. However, they do happen, which is just something to consider when you’re making your decision.
Embrace Your Old Age!
It’s unavoidable. You will age, so why run from that? Embrace the aging process, and look at it as a way of your body telling you that you’ve lived a full life. This is not to say that you should just roll over and let old age control your life. You are the only one who can turn back the hands of time by taking proper care of your body and mind. Instead of fighting old age, embrace it, and do your best to do so gracefully.
Getting old will happen, your skin will get wrinkles, your joints will most likely hurt, and chances are your eyesight and hearing won’t be what they used to be. And that’s all okay! Aging is nothing to fear or hide from. Aging part of the human process, just like puberty, remember how much fun that was? I do. And I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll do a better job aging than I did with puberty.