We all want to age gracefully. There are several ways you can ensure healthy aging without spending a fortune on cosmetic surgery that can sometimes create a rather animated look. The US Department of Health and Human Services has some great advice on healthy aging. Here are some of the factors and tips they offer on issues women face.
Diseases & Conditions
Chronic conditions, physical limitations, and the risk of many diseases and conditions all increase as women age, making preventive screening and care a key part of health care for older women.
Almost two-thirds of the caregivers of older adults are women — typically they are the wives or daughters of those who need support. More than half of caregivers also have other full-time or part-time jobs. This can make life very stressful. Increasingly, caregiving also can mean helping to raise grandchildren. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 4.5 million children are living in grandparent-headed homes. This is a 30-percent increase from 1990. Most grandparents raising grandchildren are between 55 and 64.
Staying healthy at any age has a lot to do with keeping up good health habits. Breaking bad habits can make a huge difference like quitting smoking. Others, like oral health, are less obvious, but equally important.
Being active can help prevent muscle and bone loss. It can also help you prevent or delay conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Activity can also help you feel better allowing you to enjoy life more. It can even help fight depression. In fact, increasing numbers of studies suggest that keeping your body fit helps your brain stay fit too. Regular activity can also help you stay independent. In general, activity can help you live a longer, healthier life. So get moving!
Growing older can give women a sense of freedom and increased happiness. With the children grown and the daily grind finished, you may feel more in control of your life than ever before.
Unfortunately, the loss of loved ones and the seclusion of living alone take an emotional toll. Research continues to show a strong correlation between the body and the mind. Staying healthy requires paying attention to both.
Although many older women desire and enjoy an active sex life, other women experience physical changes, illness, disabilities, and some medicines make sex painful, difficult, or hard to enjoy.
Safety & Abuse
Because older adults are at a higher risk of certain safety hazards, protecting yourself is an important part of healthy aging.
As you get older, your chances of falling and breaking a bone or hitting your head increase. Age-related declines in vision, hearing, strength, and coordination can affect your balance. Certain medicines may make you feel dizzy. Also, you may have osteoporosis, which weakens your bones and even a minor fall could lead to a broken bone.
Drugs & Alternative Medicine
We have an age increasing population who are leading longer lives due to advances in medicine. Although drugs can be lifesaving, they can also have serious side effects, which increase with the more medications you take. While herbal supplements may seem safe because they are “natural,” they can be dangerous when used with some prescription drugs.
To discuss healthy aging options further, please contact us. All About Women’s Gainesville and Lake City locations offer our patients consultation and treatment in a compassionate environment.
Educating yourself about these issues can help you make more informed choices. You should also discuss all health treatments with one of our physician who can tell you more about the research and help you avoid dangerous side effects.
For further information about healthy aging, visit our Knowledge Center article: Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment.