viernes, 4 de enero de 2019

6 ways you can prepare to “age well”


Harvard Medical School

6 ways you can prepare to “age well”

You're probably already doing a lot to ensure that you stay in good health and are able to enjoy your later years: eating right, exercising, getting checkups and screenings as recommended by your doctor. But it also makes sense to have some contingency plans for the bumps in the road that might occur.
Get your copy of Living Better, Living Longer

Living Better, Living Longer
With this Special Health Report, Living Better, Living Longer, you will learn the protective steps doctors recommend for keeping your mind and body fit for an active and rewarding life. You’ll get tips for diet and exercise, preventive screenings, reducing the risk of coronary disease, strengthening bones, lessening joint aches, and assuring that your sight, hearing, and memory all stay sharp. Plus, you’ll get authoritative guidance to help you stretch your health care dollar, select a health plan that meets your needs, prepare a health care proxy, and more.

Read More
  1. Adapt your home. Stairs, baths, and kitchens can present hazards for older people. Even if you don't need to make changes now, do an annual safety review so you can make necessary updates if your needs change.
  2. Prevent falls. Falls are a big deal for older people — they often result in fractures that can lead to disability, further health problems, or even death. Safety precautions are important, but so are exercises that can improve balance and strength.
  3. Consider your housing options. You might consider investigating naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs). These neighborhoods and housing complexes aren't developed specifically to serve seniors — and, in fact, tend to host a mix of ages — but because they have plenty of coordinated care and support available, they are senior-friendly.
  4. Think ahead about how to get the help you may need. Meal preparation, transportation, home repair, housecleaning, and help with financial tasks such as paying bills might be hired out if you can afford it, or shared among friends and family. Elder services offered in your community might be another option.
  5. Plan for emergencies. Who would you call in an emergency? Is there someone who can check in on you regularly? What would you do if you fell and couldn't reach the phone? Keep emergency numbers near each phone or on speed dial. Carry a cellphone (preferably with large buttons and a bright screen), or consider investing in some type of personal alarm system.
  6. Write advance care directives. Advance care directives, such as a living will, durable power of attorney for health care, and health care proxy, allow you to explain the type of medical care you want if you're too sick, confused, or injured to voice your wishes. Every adult should have these documents.
To learn more ways to enjoy independence and good health in your senior years, buy Living Better, Living Longer, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
Share this story:
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Keeping bones strong

Ounce for ounce, bone bears as much weight as reinforced concrete. However, unlike reinforced concrete, bone is a living tissue. It serves as a repository of minerals for the rest of the body to use, continuously lending them out and replacing them. Bone also gets stronger when "stressed" by physical activity, and can repair itself when injured.
The building and tearing down of bone tissue is called remodeling. This process happens continuously throughout your entire life. At first, your body rebuilds more bone than it demolishes. Typically, a person reaches peak bone mass around the age of 30. Among women, bone mass usually remains steady for the next 20 years or so until the onset of menopause, when bone is lost much more quickly than it is replaced. When bone loss is significant, the result is osteoporosis (which means "porous bone"). Bone loss generally starts later for men — typically in the late 50s — and progresses more slowly than in women. But men can also get osteoporosis.
When you have osteoporosis, you can no longer count on your skeleton to withstand even routine stress. A twist, a bend, an unexpected jolt — all can snap a vulnerable bone.
Two critical factors in minimizing bone loss are diet and exercise.
Osteoporosis and diet
Calcium is the building material for strong bones. Vitamin D helps your intestines absorb calcium into the bloodstream, which delivers it to your bones, muscles, and other body tissues.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), men and women ages 51 and older should consume 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. It's best to get your nutrients from a balanced, nutritious diet. Dairy products provide the most concentrated sources of calcium. But you can also find calcium in tofu, almonds, spinach, kale, broccoli, fortified orange juice, and canned fish that includes soft bones (like sardines and salmon).
In addition, the NOF recommends 800 to 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day for men and women ages 50 and older. There are only a few good food sources of vitamin D, such as eggs, saltwater fish, and liver. As a result, most people find they need a supplement. Your body will most easily absorb and use the form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol (or vitamin D3), so look for a D3 supplement.
Vitamin K also helps keep bones strong. This vitamin is found in leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. A cup of fresh raw spinach will deliver more than enough. So will a generous portion of cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
Osteoporosis and exercise
Weight-bearing exercise — movement that forces a part of your body to work against gravity — encourages the bones in that area to shore up their strength. Weight-bearing exercise includes any activity where your body must bear its own weight — for example, tennis or running. However, if you know you have osteoporosis, you'll want to start with gentler activities — such as tai chi or walking — and get your doctor's advice before starting an exercise program.
For more information on staying healthy and active as you get older, read Living Better, Living Longer, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
Share this story:
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Featured in this issue

Living Better, Living Longer

Read More

Living Better, Living Longer

Featured content:

Planning ahead: What’s important to you?
Exercising as you age
Eating your way to a long, healthy life
Keeping your mind healthy
Steering clear of serious illnesses
• ... and more!

Click here to read more »

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario