It’s entirely possible to age well as long as you know what to expect and know what to do in order to stave off some of the more detrimental aspects of aging. It’s best to take care of yourself and your body while you’re young so that you won’t have as much work to do and as much to worry about when you start to get older. Learn what you should expect as you start to age and what you can do to help yourself the most.
The reason that your body starts to change as you get older is that you’re starting to lose muscle mass, your balance is shifting and your bones aren’t as strong as they used to be. In order to endure these changes in your body, you need to take preventative measures, such as getting plenty of exercise and eating a well-balanced diet. It’s best if you have a strategy in place and use your common sense when making decisions about your health. It’s never too early to start planning for your golden years so that you’ll be well-prepared to meet the changes that come with getting older.
Depression and Disease
I’ve seen more than a few members of the elderly community succumb to depression. As a matter of fact, the elderly might be the age group that suffers from depression the most out of all of the age groups. This is attributed to spending most of their time alone, changes taking place in their bodies and a variety of other changes that are taking place in their lives. It’s entirely possible to treat and beat depression as long as you know the signs to look out for and the preventative actions to take.
Disease is something else to watch out for as you start to age. Diseases have a way of building up over time, and before you know it you might have three or four that you’re attempting to deal with. Disease symptoms can impact your day-to-day life and affect your quality of life as well. It’s a good idea to research your family history to see if there are any diseases in particular that you might be susceptible to. This will allow you to take all of the necessary steps to prevent the disease and sit down with your doctor to talk about medication and special procedures that you might be interested in.
Abuse and Neglect
Neglect and abuse are all too common in the elderly community. Senior citizens often have to rely on other people to help take care of them, and some of those people don’t take the best care of them or treat them the way that they should. There are also caregivers who neglect their patients. I’ve also noticed that some elderly individuals will even neglect to take care of themselves, but this is often due to depression. It’s important to learn the signs of abuse and neglect and take action if necessary if it ever happens to you or someone in your life.
Elderly individuals are often the targets of scams, and the reason for this is that they need more help than other people and are more trusting of people. Read up on some of the latest scams that are targeted for members of the elderly community so that you can recognize the signs in case someone ever tries to scam you one day. If anyone you’ve never met tries to offer you financial assistance, either check it out yourself or have someone do it for you.
I’ve seen more than a few caregivers suffer from burnout and stress. Many elderly individuals would like to remain in their homes while they age, but they aren’t able to take care of themselves on their own. Caregiving is hard work, and it calls for quite a commitment of both energy and time. Some caregivers can become stressed from the sheer amount of work that is required to properly take care of an elderly person. Many of them simply try to push through the stress, not realizing that they’re actually doing themselves more harm than good. Caregivers have to remember to take care of their minds and bodies just as well as they take care of the minds and bodies of their loved ones or patients.
Polypharmacy is a word that means “several medications.” Polypharmacy refers to the fact that many senior citizens have to visit more than one doctor in order to take care of all of the health care problems that they’re having. In most cases, all of the different doctors will write them prescriptions for medication without knowing what other medications they’re on. It’s important to always inform your doctor of what medications you’re taking so that they don’t give you something that will cancel out the medication that you’re already taking or react with it in an adverse way.
Elderly citizens also suffer from falls more than other age groups. With failing eyesight, shifting balance and deteriorating strength all combine to create the perfect circumstances for a fall. Weakening bones can turn a slight fall into a dangerous fall since the bones aren’t as able to handle a fall as they used to be. The best way to prevent falls is to have a caregiving professional walk around your house or residence to make sure that there aren’t any possible danger areas that need to be taken care of before there’s a fall.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two more factors to watch out for as you start to age. Individuals who suffer from either of these afflictions can start to lose their memories as well as their identity. Not only can this be hard on the person suffering from the disease, it can be difficult on friends and family as well. Imagine building a lifetime of memories with someone only to have those memories steadily decay over the years and feel as though you’re losing the person you created those memories with. It’s recommended that you start to recognize the signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease so that you can receive help in time.
Growing old doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end. When you know what to expect and what actions to take, it can be just another stage in your life, and possibly even the best one.
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