How Advanced Aged Seniors Can Eat and Live Healthfully
January 16, 2018
This is a Guest Blog contributed by Marie Villeza, founder of ElderImpact.org, a site that provides seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.
Growing older certainly has its advantages. Besides the ubiquitous senior discounts, you have managed to collect a wide range of skills, experiences, and knowledge. Wisdom might be hard to define, but you are certainly not a young and clueless person anymore.
Sadly, there is a cost for this. Many seniors run into problems with their health. This often gets worse because they lose track of how to exercise and eat right. Thankfully, both can be corrected to encourage a long, healthy life. It starts by knowing the kind of health problems that often happen to seniors.
Health Problems For Advanced Aging Seniors
Of course, every person is unique. That means each senior will need their own, unique path towards wellness. However, there are many common health problems that seniors face as they grow older.
Vital Record explains that seniors typically face problems with heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diabetes. Worse, these conditions tend to be chronic instead of sporadic. A disease like diabetes is of course continuous, but cancer diagnoses tend to occur more rapidly in seniors. In addition, seniors often face mental health problems like dementia and depression.
Pain is another chronic problem among the elderly. This leads to several more problems such as injuries, obesity, and getting addicted to painkillers. As the University of Rochester shows, this can mean pain medication, but it can also translate into alcohol addiction.
An important part of good health is regular wellness visits. Internal Medicine Spcialists focus on the wide range of illnesses that affect the aging population. Wellness visits with these physicians are usually covered by insurance. To find an Internal Medicine Specialist near you, call 800-424-DOCS.
Building A Home Gym
Then what can be done? Seniors need to keep up their health by staying active. Getting a gym membership is a great plan, but since many seniors have trouble with transportation, building a home gym can be a better choice.
Fit Body Buzz lists several pieces of exercise equipment that are perfect for seniors. Lat pulldown machines help strengthen the all-important back muscles, while recumbent exercise bikes can offer an excellent low-impact workout for both muscles and the heart. Ellipticals and treadmills are great for seniors who need to stay upright. (Just be careful about the treadmill as it can lead to knee problems if used too much.)
You don’t need large equipment in your home gym. Redfin notes that dumbbells and kettlebells are great for building muscle mass. That’s especially important for seniors since inactivity leads to losing muscle. Plus, they’re small and inexpensive! Resistance bands are great for the same reasons.
Seniors should also consider trying yoga or tai chi. Both help restore mobility by stretching muscle groups, but they also include a meditation-like component that helps the mind become calm and centered. Both can be done at home with a mat and the right video queued up on the TV or computer.
Eating Better Can Help, Too
While physical activity is needed in the golden years, another health problem faced by advanced aging seniors is poor nutrition. Your taste buds can become weak, leaving you without the desire to eat much. This leads to weakness and lethargy that just make it harder to get healthy.
Thankfully, there are ways to get a proper diet. Meals On Wheels is a delivery service for seniors who cannot cook for themselves, and their meals are especially designed for senior’s nutritional needs. For seniors who still enjoy cooking, programs like Home Chef or Blue Apron offer ready-to-cook nutritious meals delivered right to their doors.
Live A Healthy Life
Good exercise and a proper diet can make your golden years go more smoothly. Invest in some exercise machines, or at least start some yoga at home. Then look into improving your diet so you have the right nutrients to become healthy. And because your mind and body are connected, living a healthy life can help you like a happy one as well.
The author Marie Villeza is passionate about connecting seniors with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. She developed ElderImpact.org to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.
STANDARD GUEST BLOG DISCLAIMER: Guests blogs are featured on the Providence Health site when they are determined to contain valuable insight for Providence Health's audience. Providence Health's publication of this article does not mean that all views reflected in the article are shared by Providence Health.