It is never too late to adopt a healthy aging routine into your everyday life. Healthy aging isn’t necessarily about looking or feeling younger, but rather optimizing opportunities for overall good health. Making a simple skincare switch, keeping a balanced diet and getting at least 8 hours of sleep are simple things that can make you feel more energized and give your outer appearance a natural glow. To begin your anti-aging regimen on a positive note, check out these tips for some inspiration!
Changing your skin care routine may seem like a daunting task at first. It’s difficult to break from the products you have used for a long time, but once you establish a new routine that works for you, you will see the benefits in a short amount of time. Skin hydration, regeneration, and protection are all essential for seniors. Without these, and the use of an exfoliator weekly, your entire body, will lack smoothness and shine from the accumulation of dry or dead skin.
Remember, skin care isn’t only about facial products. It’s essential to moisturize your arms, hands, legs, and feet too!
Various diseases and illnesses form as a result of inadequate or unbalanced nutrition and poor dieting. Once you reach a certain age, it is critical that you eat more fruits and vegetables to prevent illness and nutritional deficiencies. Substitute processed foods for whole foods to ensure your body is receiving the nutrients necessary for a healthy life. According to the USDA, foods that are high in antioxidants (high Orac) can protect cells from oxidative damage. Kale, spinach, blueberries, and blackberries are all great options! Try implementing a few of these high Orac foods listed below into your diet to slow aging down: Visit here for more information.
Vitamins and Supplements
Many seniors rule out food they aren’t willing to consume depending on their current health status or personal dislikes. Their pallets are fully developed, and for the most part, they aren’t in the mindset to try new foods. However, avoiding certain foods can result in a lack of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that aid in preventing deficiencies and diseases. Take vitamins such as calcium and zinc to help boost brain power, along with Vitamin E, B3 and B5 help support skin elasticity. Furthermore, don’t leave out supplements that can help cellular health such as probiotics and products like Basis by Elysium Health.
Sleep may come easier to some more than others. It is important to know that disrupting your circadian rhythm with poor rest can lead to metabolic disorders. Many seniors have insomnia which limits their hours of sleep. Exercise, sticking to a sleep schedule and establishing a bedtime routine can help aid seniors in gaining the rest they need at night or throughout the day.
Remember, it is never too late to make improvements to your current routine, especially if it will benefit you in the long run. Take the time to appreciate your body and embrace the natural process!
Constipation is the most common bowel problem in older adults. The definition varies by patients and health care providers, but generally it means less frequent bowel movements than usual, and those which are hard, dry, and difficult to pass. Constipation is a preventable and treatable problem. Changes that occur with normal aging, such as peristalsis in the gut slowing down or decreased physical activity, predispose older persons to constipation.
Risk Factors/Warning Signs
Constipation is often due to a combination of causes. Some of the risk factors include decreased activity, medications (such as certain pain pills, iron supplements, and calcium supplements), depression, neurological conditions (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and spinal cord injury), dehydration, low dietary fiber, metabolic disturbances (such as hypothyroidism), undergoing dialysis, obstruction, and decreased access to the toilet (Halter et al., 2009). The range of “normal” for bowel movements is three times per day to three times per week. A decrease in number of stools that is “normal” for the person and the occurrence of hard, dry stools that are difficult to expel are typical signs of constipation.
If constipation is severe enough for the person to seek medical care, the patient may complain of abdominal pain and even have symptoms similar to other problems such as an appendicitis or diverticulitis. These more serious ailments can be ruled out through x-rays, CT scan or MRI. The diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, history, and physical examination. It is important to determine the onset and duration of the constipation, along with functional and nutritional status.
Before starting a bowel program to prevent constipation, the existing problem should be dealt with. A physician may prescribe laxatives, suppositories, and/or enemas to get the stool moving and eliminated. Many such products can be obtained over the counter as home remedies, but severe and recurrent problems should be referred to the primary care provider for further examination of the cause. After starting with a clean bowel, interventions should focus on lifestyle and dietary modifications. All natural means should be tried first before adding medication to the regimen. This includes regular exercise, establishment of a regular routine for toileting (assure privacy), and encouragement of a high-fiber diet with adequate fluid intake (unless contraindicated)(Joanna Briggs Institute, 2008). Medications may be considered for those who do not respond to lifestyle changes. Residents of nursing homes appear to respond to stimulant laxatives (e.g., senna, bisacodyl) or Miralax. Enemas should not be used on a regular basis because they promote lazy bowel function. Most older persons can avoid constipation if they remain active, have proper nutrition high in fiber, and drink plenty of fluids.
Adapted from Mauk, K. L., Hanson, P., & Hain, D. (2014). Review of the management of common illnesses, diseases, or health conditions. In K. L. Mauk’s (Ed.) Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Used with permission.
Due to decades of intense usage, the inevitable process of aging can be particularly taxing on your feet. However, foot troubles are not necessarily an unavoidable part of getting older, and there are many actions one can take to maintain healthy feet beyond their years.
Here are the three main factors you need to consider:
The foot is like any part of the body, and if you neglect its cleanliness, then you are bound to end up with some undesirable effects. It’s a good idea to wash your feet every day with a mild soap while using a foot scrubber to smooth off any dead skin.
After a good soak, you may want to trim those softened nails by using clippers to cut straight across, careful to avoid sharp corners that may become ingrown toenails. It’s also important to note that you should never put socks on wet feet, as bacteria thrive in damp conditions and a fungal infection could be quick to follow.
A bad shoe can not only cause an array of displeasing foot conditions (including bunions, hammer toes, and Achilles tendinitis) but can also inflict trauma on your knees and posture. Always choose comfort over fashion, get every shoe professionally fitted, and ask about the best insole for your arch shape to prevent foot pain.
If mobility has become a problem for you, then test out an assistive walking device. Whether a cane, a rollator, or a mobility scooter, there are so many options to choose from that you will easily find something to suit your exact needs.
Your foot cramp might be telling you something, so don’t ignore it! There is a good chance that these muscle contractions are related to your diet, hence why you should always load your plate up with fruits and vegetables. This may also be the perfect excuse to go out and get a nice relaxing foot massage.
Another essential aspect of foot care is to regularly inspect your skin for any new marks or sores, taking note of everything that wasn’t there before including ulcers, corns, and ingrown toenails. If you’re in doubt about anything you discover, it’s better to be safe than sorry and speak to a medical professional. Remember: the sooner something hazardous is caught, the easier it will be to repair.
Many seniors lead active lives after retirement, and while some individuals have physical or mental limitations that prevent them from doing so, most want to remain in their own home for as long as they can. When faced with the choice of moving toward assisted living or staying comfortable in the house they have lived in for years, there’s no question of which is the more appealing option. Yet for every senior, safety and comfort are two of the most important concerns when considering aging in place.
It can be difficult to think of all the things one must take into consideration when aging in place; not only does the home need to be assessed for hazards, it’s also important to think of how you will handle daily life should you choose to live alone. Think ahead and consider the changes you might go through in the next few years; will it be a problem to climb stairs? Take care of the garden or lawn? If so, there are things you can do to combat the issues, but it’s best to plan ahead.
Here are some of the best tips for aging in place safely.
It’s imperative to have a good communication system with friends or family members. If you have a cell phone, make sure to program the phone numbers of all the important people in your life so they will be easily accessible. Landlines should have a list of important numbers beside them, in large print. It’s also a good idea to install a phone in the bedroom and/or bathroom, in case of emergency.
If you have throw rugs in your home, consider discarding them or checking to make sure the corners don’t turn up to create trip hazards. They also need to have non-slip backs. Living areas and stairwells should be well-lit, and chairs and toilets need to be at a good height for getting up without risk of a fall. The bathtub should have a non-slip mat and a grab rail or shower seat.
It’s also a good idea to wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes or slippers; this can prevent falls or other injury. Clear all walkways of clutter or furniture that could trip you up.
The reality is that your home may just not be a good fit for aging in place safely, particularly if you have any disabilities. Don’t be afraid to consider the option of moving. You can still buy a home to live in rather than going to an assisted living facility.
Think about the things you might need to assist you in daily activities, such as a long-handled shoehorn, a walker, a rubber-soled cane, and medication. It’s a good idea to keep these things organized, in reach, and in good working order.
Get some help
When it comes to living alone, from time to time you may need some help. Enlist a capable family member or friend to assist you in financial planning, cleaning, lawn work, or traveling if you aren’t comfortable driving yourself. You might also consider getting a service animal; they can be extremely helpful to seniors in daily activities and can provide comfort, company, and stress relief.