How to Live Longer… And Healthier
Life is more than the days that pass by on the calendar. In the health care professions, the term “quality of life” is used to determine how fulfilling those days actually are. We all want to enjoy our years as we age, but we need to know potential roadblocks to our health… and ways to navigate around them. Because the average lifespan has increased in the United States—for men, age 76, and for women, age 81—there has been a shift in focus from longer life to quality of life in the field of health care.
Medical advancements have been life-changing. Below you will find a list of common fears among older adults, ways to combat them, and ways to live an overall healthier lifestyle.
Older adults have experienced highs, lows, losses, and wins throughout their lives. They carry with them wisdom and experience most young people have yet to understand. Grandparents want to pass this knowledge on to their children, and to their children’s children. But some factors stand in their way.
What if these factors could be prevented? As an older adult, you have to know what they are and how to take action NOW!
The Hard Part: Aging is a process that sneaks up on you…
As we age, most of us don’t wake up one day and feel that our quality of life has suddenly plummeted overnight. Aging is a gradual process. You might notice those moments of forgetfulness, and the day-to-day aches and pains that gradually begin to pull you away from the regular activities you once did with ease.
These instances build over time taking a toll on the body, mind, and overall life satisfaction. The feeling of fulfillment fluctuates with situations, emotions, and physical ailments. For this reason, it is difficult to tell someone what your “quality of life” actually is.
Fears and feelings are subjective, but the cause of them is easier to measure. So that’s a great place to start when you start to notice the changes in your mind and body. This fact might surprise you, but most older American’s don’t fear death as much as…
- Memory Loss/Alzheimer’s:
Memory loss and mental decline are among the top concerns of the aging. “Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.” [i]
Many people experience memory loss and do not have Alzheimer’s. There are actions you can take to prevent memory loss. There is also research done by the University of Cambridge that reports one in three cases of Alzheimer’s disease is preventable.
What is the key to prevention? A healthier lifestyle.
Here’s what you can do. Feeding both your body and your brain quality nutrients at any age is always best, but neurologists say the sooner, the better. (Click here to learn more about quality protein that feeds your brain.)
Exercise for both brain and body have also been shown to push back memory loss and dementia. Doctors and researchers recommend learning to play an instrument or doing crosswords to keep up cognitive functioning.
- Falling or Breaking Bones:
With age our legs become unsteady, our muscles aren’t as strong, and our bodies don’t absorb calcium as efficiently as they once did. The result is a fall that leads to broken bones. This concern for older adults worsens emotional symptoms such as depression.
With broken bones, it is difficult to complete daily activities which can lead to increased dependence on others, low motivation, a sense of loss, and depression. These compounding circumstances add up and can be unsettling for seniors.
Here’s what you can do. Again, the answer falls back to healthier lifestyles. Some falls and breaks cannot be prevented. However, with exercise, healthy eating, and quality vitamins and minerals, your bones and body will thank you by giving you strength and balance when you need it most.
It is safe to say that at every stage of life, finances either are or have the potential of becoming a significant concern. This fear tops the charts of major worries for aging Americans. For seniors, however, as they age working to earn more is not always an option.
They want to enjoy the investments they have made throughout their lifetime by living a less stressful life and engaging in more hobbies, but at some point, it is too physically taxing to hold a job.
There can also be concerns about being a burden to loved ones, and money is rarely an easy subject to discuss with family.
Medical expenses are also a concern for seniors. As aging increases, often medication use and doctor’s visits follow suit. Check out these staggering statistics published by The National Bureau of Economic Research:
“Medical spending by the elderly is highly concentrated. Individuals in the top 5 percent of the distribution of total expenditures spend about $98,000 per year, nearly seven times the overall average of $14,000 and accounting for 35 percent of all medical spending. Out-of-pocket expenditures are even more skewed, with almost half of expenditures made by the top 5 percent of spenders. As the authors (of the research) note, ‘even with public and private insurance, out-of-pocket medical expenditure risk is significant.’
“Nearly 20 percent of the medical spending of the elderly is financed out-of-pocket, while 13 percent is covered by private insurance.” [ii]
Increased health costs accompany aging, and one major factor is the diabetic epidemic among older adults.
According to recent data, adults 65 and older account for 22-33 percent of type 2 diabetic diagnosis.[iii] Research shows this illness is linked to increasing rates of overweight individuals and lack of proper nutrition.
Many seniors only have options of over-processed food that lack real ingredients. With these limited choices, they miss vital vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in their diets.
What can you do?… Financial advisors suggest talking about budgets and plans before it becomes an issue. As a senior, you could open the conversation with your loved ones with discussing your long-term plans.
There are many actions you can take today to prevent fears about getting older. Talk to your health care provider and your loved ones about your concerns. Choose to take on a new skill, exercising your body and your brain, and replace the over-processed food with more nutritious options.
Aging is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it! In fact, when you invest in your mind, body, and soul at any age, you can expect to reap benefits. Your brain and body are the only ones you have… treat them well and they will do the same for you.
If you are ready to take a step toward a better life now, check out some of the benefits of Moringa Oleifera, often called the “Miracle Tree” or the “Tree of Life.” This ancient plant has been used for centuries in a number of cultures to treat ailments from malnutrition to hormone imbalances.
Find out why Dead Sea Moringa is packed full of vitamins and nutrients because of the soil it’s grown in. Are you ready to gain more control over your health and your future?
[i] https://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp Alzheimer’s Association
[ii] http://www.nber.org/aginghealth/2015no2/w21270.html The National Bureau of Economic Research
[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3507610/ Us National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health.