Aging is inevitable for everyone, and so are its decaying and degenerative consequences. But old age does not have to be painful and exhausting. Aging may impair cognitive functions, but it is not the point of complete loss of senses and decision-making power.
It means older adults have control over their actions and behaviors and can decide to live a pleasant life in old age with sound decisions. You can manipulate factors in your reach to lead a healthy life, even if aging is irreversible at the moment.
For instance, awareness, consultation with healthcare experts, and routine health checkups can narrow your vulnerabilities. If you practice a balanced and healthy lifestyle, you can enjoy your aging journey smoothly.
It means old age is the reflection of your choices and habits. Hence, evaluate your lifestyle and make healthy decisions for a comfortable and pleasant life in old age. The following sections discuss how you can lead a healthy and happy life in old age with sound decisions.
- Explore family history and healthcare risk factors
Statistics for old age problems are alarming for older adults, as aging increases vulnerability. Negligence and an unhealthy lifestyle further increase risks. On top of that, you are at high risk if you already have a family history and hereditary tendencies for a particular healthcare condition.
For instance, mesothelioma cancer develops in individuals who had exposure to asbestos material or other harmful substances in their lifetime. It may not be direct contact; indirect exposure also increases your chances. You could be a victim if you spent considerable time around metal or construction sites.
Thus, it is better to consult an oncologist, explore your family history and identify risk factors. It is an essential preventive approach to minimize your chances of suffering the same fate.
- Increase awareness of age-related health issues
Awareness can minimize the chances of developing old-age health issues. You can change your routine and lifestyle and assume healthy habits if you know the risk factors. For instance, a sedentary lifestyle and aging can accelerate your chances of developing heart diseases, diabetes, and hypertension.
If you make unhealthy eating choices, you cannot prevent yourself from these challenges. The same goes for a family history of healthcare challenges. Your chances of developing a particular illness are higher than other older adults without a family history.
Hence, identify your risk factors and prepare in advance. Since old age is already challenging, you cannot afford negligence and turn a blind eye during a vulnerable phase of your life. You will likely go down the same track as other older adults in scientific research papers and statistics.
- Communicate and coordinate with your healthcare provider
Old-age healthcare challenges can be devastating for older adults and their families. But prevention is one way to save yourself from painful experiences. It is better to shield yourself than suffer in ignorance. Hence, consult healthcare providers regarding how you can enhance your resilience against old-age health problems.
Get through screenings and tests, maintain a regular healthcare profile, and stay in touch with your doctor. If you experience unusual signs, consult them without delay. And if you already have an illness, comply with the therapy.
You should also talk to your doctor and discuss the success chances, limitations, and side effects of other available options if the existing treatment is not relieving enough. If you have any ambiguity or reservation, discuss it with your care provider.
But do not look away or procrastinate and let your health deteriorate. Maintaining a transparent communication connection with your healthcare provider is in your best interest.
- Continue engagement and connectivity in life
Old age does not mean you should sit aside and reflect in isolation. Even if you do not have an active social or professional life, do not sit idle at home after retirement. Stay in touch with family members, relatives, and social and professional circles.
You should also utilize your time in constructive and productive activities and generate a living for yourself. Any professional engagement (paid or voluntary) after retirement contributes to better cognitive and physical health.
Hence, explore some viable and easy options. For instance, try tutoring, consultation, virtual assistantship, pet sitting, real estate investment, crafting, or something even more exciting and adventurous to keep yourself engaged and active.
Minimum commitments in old age also spare enough time for you to explore long-awaited hobbies and learn something new. But your objective should be a constructive use of time and self-reliance as much as possible. Otherwise, loneliness and isolation can lead to destructive side effects on your psychological health.
- Cater to your mental health
Mental health issues attract the least attention compared to physical ones, regardless of age. But such a compromise does not yield anything fruitful.
Mental health issues lead to equally painful struggles as physical ones. And the reality is the same for older adults and youngsters. Hence, do not overlook mental health while aging. Attend to preventive measures for better cognitive health as you treat physical well-being.
Eat healthily and spare time for regular workouts because both are inevitable for healthy cognitive functions and physical fitness. In addition, get enough rest and let your mind recuperate naturally. Aging may hamper your sleep, but you still need 7 to 9 hours of rest as young people.
So try to manage your sleep irregularities, and get help if it is unmanageable. Otherwise, lack of sleep is destructive to your mental health. It affects mood, memory, and decision-making capability and increases the likelihood of developing dementia and depression in old age.
- Apply for a health insurance
The old age journey is not smooth for everyone. It comes with various challenges, including poor health, distance from relatives, social isolation, joblessness, and financial dependence. Aging becomes more challenging when you do not have passive sources of income after retirement.
Many older adults do not even have the backup of retirement payments to compensate for their living expenses. Their financial independence ceases after their active professional working years. So it is hard to look after aging-related healthcare challenges without financial support.
Hence, health insurance can be your helping hand in inevitable crises and emergencies. It can ease your dependence on others for your well-being and maintenance needs. You can enjoy more control over your health decisions and lead a healthy lifestyle with assured financial backing.
And applying for health insurance does not require an unmanageable amount of money in the first go. You can use an installment scheme and pay as per your capacity.
Old age can be challenging, but better strategies and choices can minimize complications. Your well-being in old age is merely an outcome of how you have lived and attended to your physical and mental health requirements.
It means living healthy depends upon your choices, lifestyle, awareness, and willpower rather than the risks and consequences of old age. So lead your life consciously and responsibly.