As you reach your senior years, there are various changes in your body, mind and day-to-day life that you might start to notice. These changes may take place over time, and not everyone will experience them in the same way. Not all of these changes are good, but not all of them are bad either.
The one thing for certain is that you will see changes and you’ll need to adjust and make peace with that in order to make the most of your golden years. Here are a few of the changes you might see as you age.
First of all, you may become more susceptible to slips and falls which can have a far more serious impact than when you were younger and stronger. You’ll need to be aware of this and invest in a medical alert device that can assist you in the case of an emergency.
These devices will alert a caretaker or medical institution if you happen to fall and injure yourself.
Feeling frail and fragile can be tough to overcome, but staying active and eating a balanced diet can also aid in keeping you and your bones strong.
Weakened Bones, Joints and Muscles
As you age, your bone density will diminish, weakening them and contributing to the previously mentioned frailness. Your joints may also feel sore or creaky, and your muscles will weaken and become less flexible.
Physical activity and supplementing with vitamins and minerals that you might be lacking in your diet is a good way to handle these issues. Focus on calcium for bone health and vitamin D too.
Your heart works hard, and as you get older, it does too. Your heart faces a few changes as it ages – mainly that your arteries begin to stiffen which means your heart has to work even harder to pump blood through them. This can result in high blood pressure and other heart-related health risks.
Keep your heart healthy with a balanced and healthy diet inclusive of all the main food groups but with a focus on fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Once again, physical activity is a great addition to your daily routine to combat heart trouble, and you should also avoid smoking and alcohol as far as possible to keep your heart healthy.
One of the more noticeable and less pleasant changes you may notice is facing more digestive issues. Many seniors struggle with constipation and may need to increase fibre in their diets to help move things along.
The use of more medications, such as for chronic conditions, can also have a negative impact on your digestion. Be sure to take good care of your gut by following a low-processed and healthy diet.
Running to the bathroom more and more often is a common occurrence amongst older adults. What’s happening is that your bladder is losing its elasticity and your bladder muscles are becoming weaker, making it more difficult for it to hold on to liquid.
While there’s not much you can do about this, be sure to always pay attention to your bladder cues and use the toilet as often as you need to – holding it might only make matters worse.
One of the commonly feared aspects of ageing is the loss of your 20/20 vision. Taking care of your eyes by wearing sunglasses or a hat outdoors, wearing your prescription and following your optometrist’s advice can help you to maintain your vision for longer.
However, it cannot be entirely prevented that you might begin to have trouble with your eyesight. You may become more far- or near-sighted, you might become more sensitive to glare and even develop cataracts.
Just like your eye health, your hearing is likely to deteriorate somewhat as you get older. It’s suggested that you schedule a hearing check-up around once a year to see how your hearing is doing – if you might need a hearing aid, don’t let this alarm you. It will only improve your quality of life to use these devices and there’s no shame in being hard of hearing.
Weight Gain or Loss
Many seniors notice a change in their weight as they get older – either by gaining or losing it. This can be due to several factors, such as a drop in physical activity causing weight gain or weight loss caused by a loss of appetite.
Try to maintain a healthy weight by eating enough calories – but not overeating – and staying active in your day-to-day life in whatever way feels comfortable for you.
You may notice that your sexual needs or your sexual abilities start to change as you get older. This might be concerning to you, but it’s a normal part of the ageing process.
What’s important is that you communicate with your partner and take care of your physical health. If you’re looking for medical help, you can ask your doctor about your options.
The comical depiction of an older adult is someone with chronic forgetfulness. Whilst this might be amusing in a cartoon, the reality can be frustrating and even overwhelming.
Take care of your brain health by focusing on all the previously discussed tips: a healthy diet and physical activity. Sleeping well is another important piece of the puzzle when it comes to physical wellbeing.
However, when it comes to your brain, there is the element of taking care of your mind. You can keep your brain active by learning new skills, reading, taking up a hobby, or even playing active brain games on your smartphone.
Boredom and Loneliness
Retirement can leave us isolated and without much to do. This can have a serious impact on our mental health and it’s crucial that we take action to combat these feelings.
Scheduling social activities as often as possible with close friends and family can help keep you in contact with others. For the moments when you are on your own, having a hobby that makes you happy is a good way to fill your time.