Healthy Aging: The Biggest Threats To Your Health and How to Beat Them

As we age, we tend to be increasingly concerned about our health. It’s a different story than when we were young and rebellious teenagers, sniffing at the patronizing advice from our elders, and basking in the confused belief that we’re going to live for ever. Someone has yet to prove that this is possible, and all we can do in the meantime is to try to take care of the vessels we have been given.

 

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Coming to terms with one’s mortality is one thing – but realizing that we can actually do something to prolong our lives is an entirely different, and altogether positive feeling. So, here it is; the top things you can do for your health today, to enjoy the sensation of an active body and a sharp mind for as long as possible.

 

Keep your friends close

 

An amusing and eye-opening article in Boston Globe tells the story of a middle-aged reporter who was assigned a task because he was ‘perfect for the story.’ It was supposed to cover the topic on how the lack of a stable and rewarding friendship has become one of the biggest health concerns for men. Needless to say, the reporter tried in vain to convince himself that he was indeed not the perfect candidate for the story.

 

As we grow up, establish a family and suddenly feel the time-crunch closing in, we tend to spend less time with our friends rather than decreasing the time we devote to our children – which makes sense. The only danger is that when you get older, and the kids leave the nest, many middle-aged men find themselves quite alone.

 

One study even found that the long-term risks of being lonely can be as severe as those of smoking cigarettes.

 

Even though we can try to fool ourselves all we want, the verdict is clear. Loneliness is seriously dangerous to your health and can increase the risk of strokes, cardiovascular diseases, as well as Alzheimer’s – which could all have been prevented if we just put aside a bit of time for our friends.

 

Leave your bad habits behind

 

Now that we’ve covered the effects your mental well-being can have on your physical health, it’s time to get down to business. Smoking and obesity are, of course, the biggest health concerns for us in old age – right next to loneliness. It’s not enough to continue to make the same new year’s resolutions, trying to quit smoking, or befriend your scale – you need to dig deeper than this to beat the bad habits.

 

It’s difficult to cover everything you can do to change your brain patterns and form healthy habits, so let’s keep it simple; to change your ways, start by visualizing the benefits you’ll enjoy by cutting down on smoking, for example. Write it down, memorize it, and try to compensate by moving over to e-cigarettes instead – especially if you’ve been smoking for a long time.

 

Have a look at this article for an in-depth read on changing your habits and remember that to succeed, you need to make a conscious choice every day to change the patterns in your brain.

 

Why not team up with some of your friends and embark on a new and rewarding lifestyle together? It will be good for all of you, that’s for sure.

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The Little Signs That Your Elderly Parent Needs Help

Having aging parents is both a blessing and a curse. Naturally, you want to have your parents around for as long as possible. But it can be difficult to watch them age, and unavoidably degrade and lose some of their abilities. Besides the emotional involvement of suddenly having to care for your parents – whether you need to be a full-time care or to manage their living arrangements – , there is a much more urging matter. Indeed, elderly people may fail to notice that their health is degrading. As people age, they rapidly lose focus of their health to concentrate on everyday routines, such as their favorite TV show, the morning tea or even a sweet sugary treat before going to bed. But without any reference to health, they can become weak in front of your eyes without even noticing. It’s exactly why you need to pay attention to all the little signs that your elderly parent might show.

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#1. The TV Is Too Loud

When was the last time you’ve had a phone call with your elderly parent? If you’ve found yourself having to repeat constantly the same thing because they couldn’t hear you, it might be a sign of hearing issues. Although, before you rush to read all the latest hearing aid faq, you may want to check if this could be simply due to an old device. Seniors are, after all, not renowned for changing their tech devices as regularly as younger generations. You may want to investigate a little more, especially by checking how loud the TV generally is at your parents’ place. Old people tend not to notice that their hearing is getting worse, especially as all it takes is to turn the volume up. Additionally, there are other signs that can help you to notice the issue before it gets too late. For instance, you may find conversations difficult with your elderly parent. They may not ask you to repeat, but their answers might indicate that they didn’t hear you properly.   

 

#2. They Are Losing Weight

Appetite loss is a common issue with aging people. After all, they do need fewer calories, and consequently, it’s natural that their appetite is not the same than yours. However, there is a thin line between natural reduction of appetite and unhealthy behavior. There are many factors that can lead to eating less in seniors. They could be experiencing denture troubles, and consequently, might find it more difficult to eat. They might feel lonely and be lacking appetite as a result of their mental mood. They may even become forgetful and not notice that they haven’t eaten all day. Whatever the reasoning, you need to be very attentive to the first signs of weight loss. It is a difficult topic to discuss, but it can be helpful to first discuss the issue with a doctor, who can help you to identify the cause of their weight loss.

 

#3. They Become Very Clumsy

Everyone can have moments when they tripped on the carpet and fall. Even you. Or sometimes you accidentally drop a glass, and it breaks. So don’t get too nervous if it happens to your elderly parent too. However, if they fall a little too often, or things break too regularly, it might be a sign of something more serious than just clumsiness. The inner ear is responsible for your balance. The labyrinth of the ear contains many nerves and hairs that work together to coordinate your movement in space and against the pull of gravity. However, researchers have shown that the body starts losing nerves in the ear. This might result in a loss of balance. Eye problems such as cataract or glaucoma, which are common in old age, can also cause issues in moving in a room or seizing objects.  

 

#4. They Don’t Remember Where They’ve Put The Keys

Okay, the big worry about old age is Alzheimer’s disease or another case of dementia. There’s no denying that these diseases exist and are strongly related to memory loss. However, forgetfulness is not always a case of Alzheimer’s. Lack of attention or mild age-related memory loss is natural, and it isn’t anything that you should worry about. Serious memory loss, such as not being able to stick to the same routine activities or to form reasonable arguments, can be an indication of a deep loss of mental ability. Do pay close attention to your parent’s behavior, if you begin to suspect that they may be suffering from memory loss. Dementia doesn’t need to show its worst side for you to notice it. It can be little signs, such as mentioning a talk with someone who is already dead, or a sudden change of routine. If it is identified early enough, memory loss related diseases can be managed easily and successfully for a very long time.

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