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How Can Seniors Live Longer and Healthier Lives?

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on December 6, 2016

Everyone wants to live a long and happy life, but aging often causes changes in a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. However, there are measures seniors can take to remain healthier for longer and increase their life expectancy. Rocklin, Lincoln, and Roseville elder care experts discuss a few of these measures.

Prevent Falls

Millions of senior citizens fall each year, resulting in hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and other severe injuries. Because these catastrophic events can shorten a senior’s lifespan, it is important to monitor your elderly loved one’s risk factors for falls and help reduce those risks. For example, make sure floors are free from obstacles and watch for side effects from medications such as dizziness, blurred vision, weakness, and confusion. These adverse reactions can raise the risk for falls or even lead to a serious motor vehicle accident if your loved one still drives.

Socialize More Often

Loneliness, depression, and isolation can take away a senior’s hope for the future. Losing hope can cause seniors to stop taking care of themselves and make them reluctant to take their medications and keep their medical appointments. Staying connected to family and friends can enhance your loved one’s outlook on life, giving him or her something to live for. 

Step Up Physical Activity

Staying active with mild exercise can dramatically increase a senior’s life expectancy. Exercise promotes increased muscular strength, and it can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease the risk for diabetes, induce restful sleep, and reduce the pain and stiffness of degenerative bone diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. 

Consider Aspirin

Aspirin may help reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes by inhibiting platelet aggregation, which means the blood becomes less sticky and less likely to form a life-threatening blood clot. Aspirin can also reduce the risk for certain cancers such as those originating in the colon, breast, prostate, esophagus, and lung. Although aspirin may help increase life expectancy, it may be contraindicated in seniors taking prescription anticoagulants or in those with renal disease, clotting disorders, and certain allergies. Make sure your loved one consults with his or her doctor before taking aspirin or any other medication.

Lifestyle changes are often key in increasing longevity. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method (BCM), which is based on studies of seniors in Okinawa, Japan, where people remain healthy and independent well into their 70s and 80s and often live past 100. BCM focuses on exercise, diet, social and mental stimulation, and other factors that can help your loved one live a longer and healthier life. For more information on the respite and 24-hour care Roseville, CA, seniors and their families rely on, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 916.226.3737 today.

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