5 Healthy Living Tips for Seniors

Your older years may be some of the best years of your life. Having grandchildren or time for retirement offers wonderful memories and experiences. Now is the time to make these years count, so being proactive about your health is critical to maintaining a comfortable and enjoyable quality of life. Older adults should take special precautions to live well and stay healthy. Here are five healthy living tips to help you prevent illness, accidents, and illness.

1. Keep a safe environment.
Take care to keep your living environment as safe as possible. Install handrails, sturdy stools, and other safety equipment in your home. Make sure you have an easy way to access your phone in case of an emergency. Keep hallways lit and free of clutter. Ask a friend or loved one to check it periodically if you live independently.

2. Make diet and exercise count.
Use your diet as a tool against heart disease, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Medline Plus recommends that seniors avoid empty calories from foods with very few nutrients, such as potato chips, candy, soda, and alcohol. Exercise can improve arthritis symptoms and balance, prevent obesity, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about the exercise programs that are recommended for you.

3. Get vaccinated.
Make sure you get your flu shot every year. Older people may be more susceptible to serious complications and should always get the flu vaccine. Ask your doctor if you should get additional vaccines, such as shingles and whooping cough vaccine.

4. Take your medication.
If you have been prescribed medications for a specific health condition, take those medications and supplements exactly as directed. Consider using automatic refills at your pharmacy to avoid failures. Here are some tips on how to simplify your medication regimen and be sure to review these "do's and don'ts" for taking medications.

5. See your doctor regularly.
Health screenings are increasingly important for older people. See your doctor regularly for routine visits and right away for any health problems or worrisome symptoms you may have. The sooner problems are identified, the easier they can be treated.

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