The senior community is struck by illness on a day to day basis. In fact, out of the American population that is 55 years or older, an astonishing 90% is at risk for high blood pressure alone according to the National Council on Aging.
High blood pressure is just one of the top ten most common health conditions seniors face today. Among others, arthritis, heart disease, and high cholesterol are also part of that list.
With aging comes many changes within the body. These changes are inevitable and can really alter our health in the long run. However, there are a few simple changes you can make to help prevent you from being diagnosed with one or more of those top ten health conditions.
1. Pay Attention to Your Diet
A balanced diet is one of the most crucial parts of living a healthy life. Everyone knows as you get older your body can’t handle the types of food you once were able to eat regularly. You should try to stay away from the 3 S’s; spicy, salty, and sugary.
Too much of the 3 S’s and other poor dietary habits can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, just to name a few.
Obtaining and keeping a well-balanced diet of proteins, fiber, vitamins, Omega3, and minerals can keep you out of the hospital and at home with your family.
2. Limit Alcohol Intake
Just like how your body accepts food differently, it processes alcohol differently as well. Your older body is much more easily affected by alcohol consumption than your younger body was. Too much alcohol can lead to falls, liver damage, and high blood pressure.
Be sure to limit your alcohol intake to as little as possible. In this case, less means more; the less alcohol you drink, the healthier you’ll be.
3. Quit Smoking
One way to prevent high cholesterol and other serious illnesses is to quit smoking. Because this is an addictive habit, it can be one of the harder life changes to make. However, it can also be one of the most beneficial changes you make to your daily routine.
There are a ton of therapeutic products available today that help people quit this habit. Find one that works for you and stick with it.
4. Move More
Whether it’s for maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, or exercising, staying active can help prevent several serious health conditions. Exercise plays a big role in preventing health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, and coronary heart disease.
If you feel you are unable to exercise safely on your own, visit your local gym. They may have fitness classes specifically for seniors.
5. Visit Your Primary Care Physicians Regularly
Scheduling routine appointments with your primary care provider should be something all seniors do, especially if you have already been diagnosed with a serious health condition. This is typically an easy life change to implement.
Your doctor will be able to better monitor your condition and make any necessary changes to your treatment plan. Your doctor can’t treat you to the best of his or her ability without having all the facts about your condition. So, communicate with your doctor. Keep them in the loop on any and all symptoms you may develop.
6. Discuss Your Medications with Your Doctors
Most people, especially seniors, have multiple doctors that monitor different aspects of their health. It’s important that each doctor has the treatment plans from the other doctors.
Without knowing what medications you’ve been on or how long you’ve been on them, your doctor can’t provide you with the care you deserve.
For example, one doctor prescribes you a medication that is to be taken short term. Then, a month later another doctor prescribes you that same medication not knowing you’ve already been taking it. That would mean you taking a medication longer than you should have and could lead to more health issues when you are trying for less.
7. Take Advantage of Medicare’s Preventive Services
Medicare provides its beneficiaries with preventive services such as cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, and cardiovascular disease screenings. The purpose of these services is to make sure you haven’t developed any serious health condition. In the chance that you might be diagnosed with an illness, you can be proactive in treating it before it progresses too far.
On top of the fact that these services could save your life, they are 100% covered by Medicare. Most of these screenings and exams can be performed up to once a year at no additional cost to you. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of these covered services?
Talk to your doctor about other ways you can prevent the health conditions you are most at risk for.