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Golden Years

In the aftermath of the Opioid Epidemic, there are so many children left without their parents. If they are lucky, they will be raised by a relative and not have to become part of the foster care system. A healthy percentage of children who have lost their parents to the opioid epidemic are being raised by their grandparents. Some grandparents are young and some are a bit advanced.

A talented writer, Karen Weeks, reached out to me with an article specifically for self care of senior citizens. I am very excited to share her article with you as I feel it will benefit some of my readers who are raising their grandchildren. Please take a look:

It's OK to get help!

Best Ways for Seniors to Stay Healthy in Their Golden Years

Seniors can have more specialized needs than those who are in a younger age bracket. To make sure you’re in great health throughout your golden years, you’ll need to pay careful attention to things like regular doctor visits and your diet. Here are the main things you should stay on top of when it comes to your health.

Practice Preventive Healthcare

Regular doctor visits can ensure that your health is being properly monitored. When you maintain a consistent schedule of health evaluations, it will be easier to identify the areas that need closer attention. According to Family Doctor, you should get an annual check-up as well as the yearly influenza vaccine. It’s also important to get screened for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Bear in mind, however, that you’ll need to add visits to your dentist and any other specialist to your schedule as well. With these visits in mind, it’s best to make sure that you have a Medicare health plan that is adequate for your needs. You should assess your current plan and record any changes you’d like to make when the time comes.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

According to Eat Right, older adults need to ensure they’re getting more of certain nutrients and less of others in their ideal diet. For example, it’s recommended that you get more calcium and vitamin D but work on reducing the amount of sodium and potassium in your food. It’s noted that seniors tend to get less vitamin B12 than they need, so consider adding fortified cereals and lean meat to your meals. Fiber is essential to a healthy digestive system and can lower your risk of heart disease. To make sure you’re getting the amount you need, make sure you have a solid supply of fruits, vegetables, peas and whole grains in your diet. If you’re not sure where to start with making these well-balanced meals for yourself, then check out some helpful recipes online.

Keep Physically Active

Exercise is important to good health, and regular physical activity has benefits such as an improved immune system as well as better balance. While you can certainly join a senior-friendly exercise program, there are other ways to stay active. You can go for a walk, play fetch with your dog, or walk around the mall with your friends. If you don’t mind doing exercise but would rather stay in, you can create your own exercise program at home. It’s good to use online sites for inspiration as you can modify the exercise routine as you see fit. Just make sure you include warm-up and cool-down sessions so you don’t injure yourself. Where existing injuries and mobility are concerned, make sure you look for exercises that are the right fit.

Assess Your Needs Realistically

While many seniors are interested in either remaining independent or aging in place with some occasional assistance, it’s not always right for everyone. This is why you need to realistically assess what your health needs are on a regular basis. If you’re finding it difficult to carry out daily activities and keep track of medications, then it might be time to move into an assisted living facility. The benefit of recognizing this need quickly is that you can start the process of finding the right place for you as soon as possible. Without the rush, you can be as thorough as you’d like. Some of the deciding factors may include the location and size of the facilities as well as the services they offer. If you need assistance finding a facility that’s right for you, work with companies like A Place for Mom, which partners with over 40 centers in Memphis.

As we age, we have more things to keep under control in order to stay healthy. You can ensure your health is on the right track by seeing your doctors regularly and paying attention to what you eat. It’s important to keep active and don’t forget to assess your health needs consistently so you know you’re getting the best care.

Photo via Pixabay

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