As we grow older, our bodies change. Our vision, muscles and joints gradually start to become weaker and everyday things become a bit more challenging. As we lose physical strength and bone density our sense of balance deteriorates and our risks of falling over becomes greater.
The good news is, you can follow a good and healthy lifestyle to slow down the process and stay healthy and active for longer. Here are some things you can do to work on your physical as well as mental wellbeing.
Physical activity is important for our health. It improves muscle strength and balance so you feel good, stay strong, look well and enjoy life. The benefits of physical activity are endless. It helps you control weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and bone and joint problems, like arthritis. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. It also helps you manage pain and increases joint movement and most importantly, it helps you reduce the risk of injury from falls – a major concern with ageing. The amount of physical activity you need to do each week depends on your age and level of health, but it is generally recommended that you do 30 min a day (2.5 hours per week) of moderate aerobic and strengthening activity.
Some example activities that you can try:
What you eat and drink is a very important part of your health and wellbeing. A balanced diet gives you the energy to enjoy life and look after yourself.
A balanced diet generally consists of the following:
Note: The ingredients and amounts listed are general estimates for a healthy lifestyle, but it is important to consult your doctor, nutritionist and/or dietitian to determine what your body needs.
All medications have effects; some of which are beneficial and some which are unwanted. Around two in every three people, 75 and older, take at least five or more medications per day. As an older adult, you are more at risk of falling when taking five or more medications per day, as you may experience some side-effects. Unwanted effects may include feelings of drowsiness, confusion, memory problems, dizziness and/or light-headedness, being clumsy and blurry vision.
Some things you can do to keep track of your medication:
Helpful tip: Vitamin D helps the body use calcium to keep bones strong and muscles working well. Ways to increase your level of vitamin D can include diet (eating oily fish, liver and fortified foods) and getting 10 min sunshine per day (early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too harsh).
As the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’, therefore have the right measures in place to reduce the risks of falling ill or falling over by eliminating hazards in your home and wearing the right clothes.
Clothing and shoes:
As the skin ages, there is a reduction in natural moisturising factors. The ageing skin becomes dry, thin, less supple and flaky. Once the skin becomes dry, it is more vulnerable to splitting and cracking and takes longer to heal.
Some ways to promote healthy skin include:
It’s normal with ageing, for your eyesight to gradually deteriorate. Vision allows you to judge steps, distances and helps you keep your balance, therefore it is vital to your safety. From the age of 40, your eyesight gradually worsens and this can lead to dangers such as an increased risk of falling.
Some tips to prevent falls and take care of your eyes include:
A few quick things to check are:
Tip: When you are checking your home for hazards, it might be a good idea to get someone that has not seen the home before. They might spot problems that you may not notice.
Health and wellbeing is a major part of our lives, and to ensure that we live in the best way possible, it all starts by looking after ourselves.
People that can help you to live a healthy and safe life:
Need support? Calvary Community Care can support safe, independent living at home with a variety of services and expert advice.
To learn more about our services, give us a call on 1300 66 00 22 or request a call-back