If you are holding onto a stereotypical picture of the aging process that involves a sedentary, lonesome lifestyle spent on the couch in front of the TV every day, it is time for you to reconsider that thought! The answer to healthy aging is understanding the facts and debunking the misconceptions to embrace a healthy, dynamic lifestyle regardless of age.
Depression Is Inevitable
While loneliness and isolation can bring about feelings of sadness, depression isn’t a typical part of the aging process. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that older adults are less likely to become depressed than younger adults. Nonetheless, if you suspect an older loved one is battling depression, there are effective treatment plans available. Talk to the doctor for help.
You Can’t Learn New Things
In reality, the opposite is true. Lifelong learning is important to keeping cognitive functioning as sharp as possible. A recent study revealed increased brain health in older adult participants who picked up a new skill or joined a class or book club. And, the social benefits that come with learning something new are yet another bonus!
Say Goodbye to an Active Lifestyle
Being active is essential for everyone, regardless of age. While fall risk is a consideration for older adults, there are several ways to remain physically active that can be appropriate in spite of any chronic health conditions or concerns. Ask the physician for tips first, but in general, low impact activities such as balance/strengthening exercises, swimming, and tai chi are often an excellent starting place.
Put the Keys Away
There’s a common assumption that as we grow older, we all will need to give up the car keys. Though there are health problems that can make driving hazardous, such as decreased vision or Alzheimer’s disease, many older adults can continue to safely drive – often more safely, as a matter of fact, than younger drivers. Regular physical exams will guide the physician in determining when and if it’s time for an older loved one to give up the car keys.
Dad Had Dementia, Which Means You Will, Too
While genetics do play a role in a person’s potential for Alzheimer’s, there are some other elements that are within our control to lower that risk. The lifestyle choices we make, such as eating healthy, staying physically active, keeping blood pressure levels in check, and not smoking, are all great protective measures.
No Need to Give Up Smoking Now
Maybe you know an older adult who feels that since they’ve smoked their whole lives and have not had any significant problems, there’s no sense in quitting now. But studies have established that ceasing smoking brings immediate health advantages – 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 is also a reduction in cold and flu symptoms, less risk for bronchitis and pneumonia, and a diminished risk for lung disease, cancer, and heart disease.
Let Compassionate Nursing Services’ caregivers in Oakville, MO and the surrounding areas help the older adults you love enjoy this time of life in the most healthy and happy way possible! Reach out to us at 314-432-4312 to learn about the various ways we can help.