Asking a question like “Does your physician support a healthy senior lifestyle?” might seem a little odd. After all, physicians are there for the sole purpose of promoting health!
What we are really asking, is whether the physician actively promotes concepts that will make a positive difference.
In order to analyze that, we have to know which things make a difference to senior health.
Let’s look at a few general pointers for a healthy senior lifestyle.
This is the first of a two-part article on the topic of a healthy senior lifestyle.
What is a Healthy Senior Lifestyle?
The phrase ‘a healthy senior lifestyle’ encompasses quite a lot. We will begin by touching on a few topics. The more we learn about health and managing our well-being, the more we know where to focus our efforts.
A healthy senior lifestyle includes:
In a book, Providing Healthy and Safe Foods as We Age, Dr Katherine Tucker lists key nutrients:
- Protein – This is essential to keep the immune system strong, and retain muscle mass.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Among other things, Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain function and memory health.
- Dietary fiber – The main function of dietary fiber is to keep the digestive system running smoothly. Avoiding constipation contributes to overall health and the ability to enjoy life.
- Vitamins B6, B12, and E – The B-vitamins group are known for their keeping the immune system healthy and maintaining cognitive performance. Vitamin E is good for maintenance of the immune system and inflammatory responses. There are some, that caution the correct and judicial use of Vitamin E for seniors.
- Calcium, magnesium and potassium – Harvard Health writes how these are needed for muscle function and blood pressure. These need not necessarily be in supplement format. You can get these from foods, in the main. A physician should know the levels that you need, through a blood test.
Exercising is important for good circulation and stimulation of the sensory system. So, find about classes near you after asking your physician which type of exercise is good for you.
Around 7-8 hours of good quality sleep is needed for seniors too! Getting short day time naps can help make up the hours you sleep. Clearly, good quality sleep is essential for the physical and mental health of seniors.
Activities and recreation is important for keeping the brain young and a smile frequently on your face. There are many types of activities. Some seniors prefer fun games and others prefer puzzles. There are social and intellectual benefits to both.
Chronic conditions: Don’t ignore them, treat them!
Obviously, chronic conditions affect senior health. Managing these correctly, means a senior can still live a functioning life in spite or because of their condition.
Seniors tend to take a number of medications, on average 4-5 prescription medicines a day. If you need to take it, so take it. Blood pressure medicine for example, needs to be taken on a regular basis. Taking medication correctly really can add years to a person’s life. Medication management is a very important topic.
Aging gracefully has much to do with adopting the healthiest attitude towards life as it is. Life is what it is. We deal with life’s gifts and we have to accept some punches. Filling your life with meaningfulness and content helps a person get back to themselves during and after a senior health challenge.
Discussing a Healthy Senior Lifestyle with your Physician
Any physician for the senior population should be focused on your best health interests. When you visit the doctor’s office, there are some questions that you want your physician to ask you. Here are some examples:
- Are you managing with day to day activities?
- Which senior club / day center do you belong to? Do you like going here?
- Do you visit the fitness center or join in mall-walking activities?
- Are you committed to eating enough vegetables and fruit every day?
- Do you always take your medicines on time?
- How do you sleep at night?
- Do you have the energy to do what you need to do in the day?
Firstly, you want a physician that comes up with ideas to help you keep to a healthy senior lifestyle. Secondly, many physicians have reading material and charts to help you keep track of your meals and medication.
More on Your Best Physician
This article hopes to be continued. Let’s address how we want our physicians to be on top of health-related events in the news. Guidance from medical personnel is so important. Can we discover enough for ourselves to keep safe?
We also want to look at how long a patient wants with their doctor during a consultation.
We respect the physician. Yet, we also assess how efficiently the physician manages to support a healthy senior lifestyle. Stay well for now, and look out for the next article.