While we all probably love the idea of leading a long, comfortable, and rich life, the idea of aging has many of us fearful! Aging comes with a host of unwanted issues and declining health is unavoidable, at least in some measure, with age. It simply is a part of nature! Here we take a look at the most common health concerns surrounding aging so that you know what to keep an eye on as you age and how you can reduce your suffering, if not avoid it.
Malnutrition seems like such a simple thing that you could overlook it. But, it is immensely important for seniors to obtain the nutrients and vitamins they need for their bodies to function properly and for their immune systems to be working fine. Not meeting the daily quota is, unfortunately, a grim reality for people older than 65. There are many consequences of this, like muscle weakness and fatigue. The cause may be as simple as a poor diet or even a result of other factors, like a senior with dementia forgetting to have their meal or the loss of appetite. Limited income is another sad but very real cause of malnutrition in aging.
It is very common for seniors to experience problems with their sight or their hearing, and we all know of an old person who wears spectacles or probably can’t hear very well! The statistics read that 1 in 6 older adults experience visual impairment while 1 in 4 experience auditory impairment. Of course, these days we have hearing aids and glasses easily available, but it is still important to check on this regularly.
In the greater spectrum of declining health from aging, oral health is an often-overlooked element and little attention is given to it. Unfortunately, it can lead to so many unwanted effects, like low self-esteem, pain, difficulty in enjoying food, diseases like gum disease or dry mouth, and even things as serious as cancer. Regular dental appointments will ensure that you avoid issues in old age that could have been prevented. Also, it is never too late to take up dental checks, even if you have developed some of these problems already.
Incontinence and constipation
There is no doubt that struggling with constipation or having bladder issues will make life less enjoyable in some or other way. It can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and generally irritating to a senior when they have problems with either bowel movements or bladder issues. Maintaining a healthy weight and following a balanced diet is a very easy and healthy way of controlling digestive issues, while exercises like Kegels can improve bladder control. Regular exercise forms an important part of this part of senior health as well.
It is common knowledge that as we grow old, our ability to learn, remember, and think is affected. However, you are not powerless to protect your brain from this deterioration. Ensuring that your brain receives enough blood flow and nutrition is important, which is why yet again exercise and diet comes into play. However, activities like learning something new and challenging, or reading and solving puzzles are good for encouraging your brain to form new pathways and to reinforce those that are existing. Think of your brain as a muscle and train it as you would any other muscle, to prevent it from becoming weak!
It doesn’t take much to figure out that if you sustain a physical injury in old age, you will take a lot longer to heal from it than if you were younger. In fact, many old people who fall and injure themselves never fully recover from their injuries, particularly with injuries to the back or legs. However, you can most certainly protect yourself by increasing muscle support like engaging in strength training, even if it is very light. Whatever your body can cope with is where to start, and from then onwards, you progress. Also, supplements that provide you with the daily quota of magnesium, zinc, and calcium are helpful in maintaining bone density and ensuring that your body is stronger against an unexpected fall.
Of course, there are many more health risks that increase as we age, but with proper care and attention to our health from right now onwards, we can make sure that our future is brighter and healthier. It doesn’t matter if you are twenty or seventy – the time to start is now!