Often-Overlooked Things That All Seniors Should Know
Easy-to-miss aspects of healthy aging
Growing older has its perks, like plenty of time to gain wisdom. Unfortunately, no matter how much you know, there are easy-to-miss aspects of healthy aging. Here are a few to keep in the forefront of your mind to help you better enjoy your retirement years.
You don’t have to live alone.
Depending on your current health, you may have already begun to experience difficulty taking care of your daily needs. When you struggle to do things like go to the bathroom or clean house, there are options to help you age safely. There are dozens of independent living, assisted living, and 55+ communities throughout the US. Take the time to get to know the differences between each type of senior living arrangement, and then decide what is best for you.
There are ways to make your home safer.
Once you’ve done your research, you might find that relocating isn’t for you. In this case, there are plenty of home modifications that can keep you safer in the privacy of your own home for longer. Things like smart doorbells can help you know who’s at the front door if you have trouble hearing. Similarly, you can use this and other smart security features to see who’s knocking so it’s never a surprise. Using your phone, you also have the option to check on your house when you’re away. Don’t underestimate low-tech upgrades either. Grab bars, wheelchair ramps, and task lighting are all affordable and effective additions that can help you live your best life.
Give yourself more to smile about.
When you smile at the mirror, do you like what you see? Many people live with a smile they don’t feel good about, and they might even neglect their teeth as a result. However, oral health is directly linked with many chronic health concerns, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. In order to thoroughly clean your teeth to prevent long-term issues from cropping up, it may be necessary to fix alignment issues since misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean. Fortunately, minor misalignment can be taken care of fairly easily. Compare products, like byte vs. Invisalign, to weigh the pros and cons of each. For example, byte outperforms Invisalign on and cost, convenience and treatment time, but Invisalign may be able to treat more severe misalignment. Remember: by giving your teeth and gums more TLC, your whole body will benefit.
Eating well is possible on a fixed income.
One of the biggest perks of assisted and independent living is that you always have access to healthy foods. This, unfortunately, is often more difficult for seniors who rely on Social Security to pay the mortgage and buy groceries. But eating healthfully is imperative for all ages — and, of particular interest to seniors, may help reduce inflammation, which is partially responsible for cognitive decline and arthritis. Pay close attention to the food you buy and put into your body. Focus on quality, and eat filling foods that fuel your body right. Bananas and oatmeal, salmon with fruit chutney, and even an ultra-affordable three-bean salad can power you through your day while providing vital nutrients for your mind and body.
You have to exercise.
George Jones famously claimed not to need a rocking chair — you don’t either. While there is nothing wrong with relaxing, age doesn’t get you out of your exercise obligations. Before beginning a new routine, however, do talk to your doctor. Johns Hopkins asserts that you should be honest during your conversations. Explain to your health care provider what your limitations are, and they might be able to provide you with information and resources, including mobility aids and medication, that can enhance your ability to exercise. A few exercises they might recommend are adaptive yoga and balance exercises.
Medicare isn’t a one-size-fits-all product.
When you turned 65, you probably waited by the mailbox for your Medicare card. But if you are not already aware, there is more than one different type of Medicare coverage. Original Medicare is basic coverage, while Medicare Advantage plans are just like private insurance and may include everything from vision care to prescription drug coverage. Regardless of which plan you choose, take advantage of all of your benefits, including your annual wellness visit, which, according to United Healthcare, is an opportunity to create and refine your long-term health care plan.
The above are all great tips to help you look, feel, and be your very best. Remember, your living arrangements are not set in stone — if you can’t live alone, you have options. No matter where you choose to hang your hat, however, don’t forget to pay attention to your oral health, eat right, and keep your body moving.
Make sure to visit our entire Gracefully Greying platform often for continuous resources that help you live your best life.
- Contributing writer Claire Wentz, Caring From Afar
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