If you are holding onto some common stereotypes about aging that involve a sedentary, lonely lifestyle spent in a rocking chair on the front porch every day, it’s time for you to reconsider those thoughts! The secret to healthy aging is understanding the facts and disproving the misconceptions to embrace a vibrant, dynamic lifestyle throughout aging.
Expect to Be Depressed
While isolation and loneliness may lead to feelings of sadness, depression is not an ordinary part of the aging process. Actually, research shows that older adults are less inclined to experience depression than younger adults. However, if you think an older loved one is struggling with depression, there are helpful treatment plans available. Talk with the doctor for assistance.
It’s Too Late to Learn New Things
Actually, the opposite is true. Lifelong learning is important to keeping cognitive functioning as sharp as possible. A recent study showed improved brain health in elderly individuals who learned a new skill or enrolled in a class or book club. And, the social rewards that come with mastering something new are an added bonus!
You’ll Have to Slow Down
Being active is critical for everybody, regardless of age. While the risk of falling is definitely something to consider for older persons, there are many ways to remain physically active that are appropriate in spite of any chronic health issues or concerns. Ask the physician for recommendations first, but in general, low impact exercises including tai chi, balance/strength exercises, and swimming are often a good place to start.
Time to Give Up the Keys
There is a widespread assumption that as we grow older, we all will have to stop driving. While there are health issues that can make driving risky, such as reduced vision or Alzheimer’s disease, many older individuals can continue to safely drive – often more safely, as a matter of fact, than younger drivers. Regular physical exams will guide the doctor in determining when and if it’s time for an older person to stop driving.
Dad Had Dementia, Which Means You Will, Too
While genes do play a role in someone’s risk of Alzheimer’s, there are a number of other factors that are in our control to reduce that risk. The lifestyle choices we make, like eating healthy, staying physically active, keeping blood pressure levels under control, and refraining from smoking, are all great preventative measures.
No Need to Quit Smoking Now
Maybe you know an older adult who is of the mindset that since they have smoked their whole lives and have not had any major problems, there’s no sense in quitting now. But studies have established that stopping smoking brings instant health benefits – within a matter of hours, as a matter of fact. First, there’s a reduction in the carbon monoxide levels in the blood. Within a few weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases. There’s also a reduction in cold and flu symptoms, reduced risk for pneumonia and bronchitis, and a lowered potential for cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.
Let Grace Home Care’s experts in home and memory care in Topeka help the older adults you love enjoy this time of life in the most healthy and happy way possible! Contact us at 785-286-2273 to learn about the various ways we can help.