Common Health Questions for Seniors
As we get older, our health needs change. When your needs change, there doesn’t need to be a complete upheaval in your existing lifestyle, but it does mean a shift to senior healthcare; this can help you live independently and safely as long as possible! Seniors are at a greater risk for a variety of different conditions, including cognitive decline, heart disease, vision and hearing loss, and some types of cancer. If a condition isn’t caught early, it can progress quickly. But not to worry — there are simple adjustments you can make to your life to help ensure you can live your later years to the fullest.
How Often Should I be Visiting the Doctor?
The average American visits the doctor about 4 times a year; this statistic includes older Americans, though it should be noted that they should visit the doctor more often than the general population. Adults ages 65 to 70 should be visiting the doctor at least once per year for a general checkup, and more frequently as they age. This can help you catch an issue before it starts to get out of control.
Not everyone likes to visit the doctor, and that’s understandable… It can be expensive, stressful, and frustrating to plan. If you don’t think anything is wrong, you might not think you need to visit. But this annual checkup (to your general practitioner at least… If you have a specialized health issue, you should regularly check in with that doctor) is important to help you renew, change, or alter medications, identify potential issues, and create a plan to monitor your health and sustain your quality of life.
Should I Be Taking Vitamin Supplements?
Generally speaking, the best way to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs is by eating healthy foods. As you get older, however, you might need additional supplements; you and your doctor can determine if this is something you will need, and make adjustments to your subscriptions as necessary. For instance, your doctor might recommend calcium supplements to aid in bone health, Vitamin D if you can’t get enough sunshine, or Vitamin B12 to help with nerve and red blood cell health. But as with any medicine or supplement, you should check in with your doctor before beginning a new, regular vitamin regimine.
Antioxidants and Herbal Supplements for Seniors
You might have heard a lot in the news about a diet rich in antioxidants or taking herbal supplements. Again, it’s always best to seek advice from your doctor before introducing major changes into your diet! You may be optimistic about the possible benefits of these, but it’s important to note that studies are inconclusive, at best. In some cases, antioxidants have been shown to be harmful in large doses.
What Else Can I Do to Stay Healthy?
Keep busy, and stay active! Sitting around at home day after day is unhealthy for anyone, regardless of age, but as you get older, it can accelerate aging and health decline. Being around other people is good for your mental health and helps fight depression and loneliness; plus, it helps if someone else sees you regularly and can notice if your behavior or health seems to be changing. Physical and social activity are just about the best things you can do to keep yourself healthy. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise each week; see if you can incorporate something like a daily walk into your routine!
Otherwise, get a good night’s sleep, don’t smoke, limit your alcohol intake, and make sure you see your doctor regularly.
At Copeland Oaks, we pride ourselves on our continuity of care. Seniors can come and live with us in our inclusive facilities no matter how much or little health assistance they need! If you’re looking to spend your retirement among other older adults, enjoying activities and living life to the fullest, we could be the perfect fit. If your health needs change during your time here, that’s okay too… We’re here to help. Take a look at our facilities online or contact us today to schedule a visit.