As you age or care for an older loved one, you may find that it’s harder to stay healthy. What might have once seemed like a given may now require more effort to maintain.
But just because you’re getting older, doesn’t mean that you can’t still focus on your health and make small changes that can help you feel your best.
Resources for Staying Healthy
How Can I Focus on My Health?
Living a healthy life can seem like a big task, but taking small steps every day makes it easier. By working healthy habits into your daily routine, you can protect your health for years to come. You can focus on your health every day by getting:
Enough to eat and drink
Food and water are key to your overall health — and the vitamins and nutrients you get from your food help your body do its job each day. Eating nutritious food can also lower your risk for different diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. If you have trouble eating — or preparing healthy meals for yourself — personal care services might be able to help.
The right amount of sleep for your age
How much sleep you need each night depends on your age. Adults between 18 and 60 years old need 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Adults who are between 61 and 64 years old need 7-9 hours of sleep, and adults over the age of 65 need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Daily movement, exercises, or stretching
Throughout your whole life, getting enough movement in your routine is an important part of keeping up with your health. Even adults over the age of 65 need:
- Moderate-intensity workout (like brisk walking or biking): 150 minutes per week
- Muscle strengthening: 2 times a week
- Balancing activities: 3 times a week
150 minutes of exercise might sound like a lot, but you can break it into smaller chunks over the week. If you take three 10-minute walks Monday through Friday, you would reach this goal! And things like walking from the subway or a walk at lunch totally count toward this overall total.
If you are recently recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery, you may feel like physical activity isn’t something you can do right now — but Rehabilitation Therapy might be able to help. A VNS Health rehab therapist can help you or your loved one achieve your health goals, whether that’s better balance, buttoning your shirt, or walking to your mailbox.
To your scheduled appointments with your doctor
As you age, there are many people on your team who can help you be your best — and your healthiest. This includes the doctors, nurses, and other providers on your care team. From getting to a follow-up appointment with a specialist to attending your annual wellness exam with your primary care provider, keeping those appointments can help you stay on top of your health — and manage any health issues as they come up.
Don’t Forget — Get a Flu Shot!
Protecting your health may also include getting routine vaccinations, like for the flu, shingles, or COVID-19.
Flu season tends to peak between October and February, and your flu shot will take 2 weeks to begin protecting you, so it’s best to get yours earlier rather than later — but it’s still worth getting your flu shot later in the season even if you didn’t get it first thing in October.
Getting your flu vaccine can help you stay healthy — protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting sick