Healthy Aging Month is an annual event, falling each September, that advocates for people to take steps to age well. What are the steps of healthy aging and why does it matter? How can elder care help your senior improve their overall health? Find out more below.
The Steps to Healthy Aging
People often think of health as eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise. While those provide a solid foundation for healthy aging, they are not enough. You also must take care of your emotional and mental health, get tested for health issues that are genetic or age-related, and stay social.
Healthy aging also involves avoiding bad or addictive habits. If your mom smokes, she needs to quit. Quitting can be tough, but it’s important. She can ask her doctor for medications that help or therapy groups designed to support smokers who want to stop.
Keep Her Socially Active
People who are lonely or isolated have been found to have higher rates of chronic health conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and depression. That’s one reason that it’s important to stay social and engaged in your community. Make sure your mom meets up with others.
How can you make sure your mom socializes? Sign her up for activities at the local senior center. Luncheons, group trips, and dances are all options. They may offer Bingo nights, book clubs, and fitness classes, and all of these are popular ways to keep your mom socially active and engaged with her peers.
Make Sure She’s Up-to-Date on Screenings and Tests
Getting tested for genetic health conditions and age-related conditions is important. Colorectal cancer can run in families, and a colonoscopy is one of the best ways to detect it early.
It may not be the easiest test to go through as preparations require drinking a solution that flushes out the intestines and colon. That solution can make some people feel nauseous. Once that part is over, the scan itself isn’t tough and your mom will likely sleep right through it.
Breast cancer is another disease that can run in families. Your mom needs to go for a mammogram as often as her doctor recommends, usually every two years if she doesn’t have a high risk. Yearly mammograms may be recommended if there is a family history.
Blood tests to check her iron levels, red cell counts, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels may also be recommended. Make sure she goes for these tests as often as her doctor recommends.
Support Her With Elder Care Services
Your mom lives alone and has a hard time with self-care. Have you considered hiring elder care services to help her with personal care, grooming, socialization, meals, and daily diet? Elder care aides can stop by, keep her company, and help her with everything from meal preparation to housework.