Medical Advice for Seniors

As we age, it becomes more important than ever to take care of our health. There are many steps that seniors can take to stay healthy and prevent illness. One important step is to get active. Exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, maintain muscle mass, and boost mood.  

Another crucial aspect of staying healthy is taking supplements as necessary. Seniors may need additional vitamins or minerals to help support their immune system or bone health. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can also provide essential nutrients.

Washing hands regularly is another simple but effective way to prevent the spread of infection. Managing stress through activities such as meditation or yoga can help reduce inflammation and improve mental well-being. Scheduling annual physicals with a healthcare provider is also important for monitoring overall health and catching any potential issues early on.

While this commentary addresses two kinds of aging for those over age 50 (who will henceforth be called seniors), most of it applies as well to juniors and everyone else between obviously young and obviously old. Stages of life are real-everything about our bodies changes over time, but we have much more influence on how fast and what kinds of changes occur than most people realize. 

Consider yourself a senior if any of the following apply to you: 

  • You’re over 50. 
  • You’re retired. 
  • You’ve been offered discounts at movie theaters, seats on crowded busses and/or addressed by strangers as Granny or Grandpa. 
  • You don’t text, use an iPhone or do FaceTime. 

You believe that your appearance gives you the right to be cranky and demanding, a little bizarre and even cantankerous-and most people will be understanding and forgiving. 

Seniors get a lot of attention in our society. It’s not unusual to encounter startling data on a near-daily basis about the breed. Just in the past week, I came across the following statistics: 

  • Since the first day of January in 2011, 10,000 people have turned 65 every day-and this will continue for at least the next 20 years. 
  • The number of folks over 50 is over 100 million. 
  • The mortality rate for seniors is falling, that is, seniors are living longer. 
  • The population over 50 has $2.4 trillion in wealth, which amounts to 42 percent of all after-tax income. 
  • Eighty percent of those over 65 expect to keep working. (This figure leaves out a bit of related and crucial information unaddressed, namely, “for how long, for god’s sake?”) 

(Source of above data only: Steve Dorfman, “Boomer Nation,” Cox Newspapers/Rampa Bay Times, November 25, 2015, pp.6-7.) 

Two Kinds of Age 

I’m 77, a time in life when some people, including college coeds, are beginning to consider me something of a senior. Frankly, senior-hood is a matter of opinion, as far as I’m concerned. Not that I’m in denial or anything, but I believe aging in misunderstood. The data on aging and thus all the statistics that I just presented are based on chronological age, which is related to birthdates and nothing else. This is of limited utility for purposes of understanding the significance of aging data. 

“What’s going on?” People want to know. Is the country filling up with broken down geezers taking up space, clogging the medical system and otherwise wasting good space, or are seniors having a positive impact on society while enjoying the hell out of life? Knowing the data about their chronological status does not cast much light on the answer to these kinds of questions. 

Your birthdate is not the most accurate or meaningful indicator of aging. A more useful, predictive and insightful indicator is functional mental and physical capacity. If there were sound measures of these indicators, we would know the true age variations of our society and could better plan social programs. 

The Takeaway: Lower Your Functional Age 

While modern medicine and other sectors of society don’t make distinctions, you can exert a great influence on how “old” you are after your chronological age hits 50. Instead of passively observing the age count rise and vitality levels fall, take control of your destiny. Invest daily in slowing the changes in your functional age. 

Consider two 50 year-old men, one we’ll call Mr. F (for Fit), the other Mr. NSF (for Not-So-Fit). Mr. F is active and trim, enjoys a whole foods/plant-based diet, has few medical issues (or actively manages those he has), loves his work and family, is well educated and has the benefits of a safe and comfortable environment in a society that enables and supports all manner of freethinking and personal choices. Mr. NSF, on the other hand, has few of these advantages and almost surely does not realize the impact that his lack of initiative plays on his physical and mental state. Imagine the plight of Mr. NSF-he’s overweight, a heavy smoker, often abuses alcohol in search of a little fun, identifies with sports teams and has limited access to enhancing social supports. 

The men are the same chronological age, but how likely are they to be even close in functional age, mentally or physically? It’s theoretically possible, but unlikely. 

Now fast forward 25 years. Both are still alive at age 75, and the varying circumstances of their lives are about the same as when they were 50, as described above. Is it likely their functional age is even remotely similar? I believe the obvious answer is no, that effectively, Mr. F is much “younger” than Mr. NSF. 

While how to assign a functional age to each is something not done when doctors examine patients or firms evaluate job candidates, some “need-to-know” business groups (e.g., life insurance companies) probably do, to some extent. Besides the great differences in lifestyle and circumstances sketched above, other factors will affect functional age, to some extent. These include genetics and fate or random fortune/luck. 

Mr. F and Mr. NSF are not even remotely the same age, functionally. The differences in lifestyle are presented at extreme ends of a quality of life continuum in the example provided. This is done in order to show the likelihood that our rate of aging and our functional capacity at any age varies, from one person to another of the same age. Differences can be subtle or obvious, but they exist for all persons of a given age, and are most consequential when we are (chronologically) seniors. 

Wellness tips for closing and/or starting the year off are pretty much the same as tips for New Year resolutions, for Lent, Ramadan and other holy days and not-so-holy days of our lives-make wise choices. Choose active lifestyles and become expert at good thinking, finding meaning and purpose, experiencing happiness and joy, being athletic and eating wisely. Safeguard your personal freedoms to live the kind of life you desire. Spend your days as much as possible showcasing your talents, supporting your interests and connecting with nature and loved ones. 

You can’t be a kid for more than a couple decades, if that long, but you can be younger longer by aging less rapidly and enjoying yourself while doing so. 

Try to be the very model of a modern major general of wellness living. 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Donald_Ardell/893159 

October 1, 2023

Written By: Clients Department

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