As we age, we undergo a number of changes. Certain physical tasks become more challenging, our minds might not feel as sharp, and even our senses wane. As a result, many seniors worry about losing their independence in the future.
Rest assured that you can take control of the situation. Stave off age-related health concerns and maintain optimal health by following these tips.
Maintain muscle mass with regular physical activity
Sarcopenia refers to the natural loss of muscle mass and strength that comes with age, and it leads to an overall decreased ability to perform physical tasks, like lifting and squatting, and also impacts gait and balance. If not addressed, it can eventually impede day-to-day function.
You can take steps to prevent sarcopenia by staying active. Regular workouts that build and condition muscles will help keep you fit. When choosing a form of exercise, look for low-impact workouts that don't stress joints—which get more delicate with age. Popular options include yoga, cycling, and walking. Swimming is particularly ideal as it offers a full-body workout while the buoyancy of being in water eases the workload on aging joints.
Refocus your food habits to meet your changing nutritional needs
As Everyday Health explains, your nutritional needs change over the years. As your metabolism slows, your body requires less food to maintain its function and energy levels. It still needs a sufficient amount of nutrients, however.
Getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals while eating less can be tricky. On top of that, the digestive system alters with age, producing fewer fluids and making it harder to absorb certain nutrients like folic acid and vitamin B6.
Learn how to cook nutrient-packed senior-friendly meals. Breakfast could consist of overnight oats, for example, while dinner might be turkey burgers or crockpot chili. If cooking is a burden, preparing large quantities of food in advance and freezing meal-size portions makes it easy to reheat them later.
Prepare for assisted living by researching your options in advance
Even if you are totally independent and don’t need any help to get through day-to-day chores now, this may not always be the case. Some seniors may eventually need to move into a nursing home, which can be an overwhelming and frustrating transition. Also, these facilities aren’t cheap. Figuring out how to pay for this service now can spare you stress. Check your insurance coverage to see if any retirement home services are covered. For example, Medicare and Medicaid provide limited coverage for skilled nursing facilities.
Many seniors find it necessary to explore other options, like dipping into retirement savings or refinancing a mortgage. Make sure you are prepared and have a plan in place should a need for assisted living arise.
Spare your family stress by investing in end-of-life preparation
One more stressor that you may face as you get older is the thought of paying for end-of-life expenses, like medical and burial costs. Leaving these debts to your family after your passing isn't ideal, and life insurance policies are sometimes slow to pay beneficiaries.
Final expense insurance is an option that can help. Look for a reputable provider, and read reviews and choose carefully so you know that your loved ones won't have this financial burden to handle while they are in the midst of grieving.
The thought of getting older might seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. By preparing and taking proactive preventative measures, you can avoid many common health-related concerns that come with aging. Then you can enjoy your golden years in comfort.
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