“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain
On August 14, 1935, US President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act; however, it wasn’t until 1988 that the president at the time, Ronald Reagan, declared August 21st as National Senior Citizens Day.
So, in recognition of Senior Citizens Day, let’s Chat & Chew about tips for living a simple and healthy life as we age.
As the old saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, that’s simply not true in my opinion. Did you know that more than 50% of our mental and physical health status is directly related to lifestyle? With that being said, it’s truly never too late to make a change. Professor and occupational therapist, Florence Clark suggests simple things like reconnecting with a long-lost best friend or joining a ballroom dance class—whatever best suits you—to slow down the physical and mental decline that comes with age. The biggest take-away: be open and willing to trying new things.
Now more than ever, technology has taken over all aspects of life—every day we crave a new iPhone app to keep up with our latest interests. On the other hand, I’m a little more old fashioned. Like me, you may also enjoy puzzles, board games, or even game shows every once and a while—my personal favorites are word searches and Sudoku. Besides the pure enjoyment you experience from these types of activities, there is an even greater effect taking place. While it’s important to stay active, it’s just as crucial to exercise your mind and remain social. While it’s easy to stay inside on a nice day (I know I’m guilty of it), as we age, it’s especially important to make sure we are interacting with others and being productive throughout the day.
Chronic conditions are another major obstacle, which can develop later in life. According to Clark, “70% of seniors (65 and older) have a chronic condition such as hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, COPD, or cataracts.” It can be extremely difficult to adjust to chronic conditions, but if you start planning ahead now and figuring out what you can do if you’re faced with any of these conditions, you may save yourself a lot of pain and frustration in the long-run. Consult a doctor if you have questions or concerns about common chronic conditions.
Last but not least, many people are living longer than ever before, which makes it especially important to keep yourself healthy and happy. Plain and simple: a combination of productive, social, physical, and spiritual activities as you age can lead to a higher chance of life satisfaction. In the end, this can save you time and money spent on doctor visits and prescription drugs.
Don’t let life slow you down! Check out NIH’s Senior Health page for more tips on how to stay healthy with age.
Looking to retire soon? Check out our Medicare & Me brochure to see how the Compass Rose Health Plan and Medicare work together for your health care needs!