The good news is that today’s seniors are living longer than ever before. New data suggests that if you reach the age of 65 years old, you can expect to live on average another 20 years. Another encouraging survey reports that as many as 41 percent of people over age 65 say that they are in very good or excellent health.
However, experts want to remind seniors that by making some lifestyle changes, they can make their senior years even better. Jeanne Wei, MD, the director of the Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock, notes that, “You need to be physically active and eat a healthy diet.” She further adds that individuals must “make healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting smoking and losing weight, to avoid senior health risks.” Furthermore, doctors recommend that if you are a senior coping with a chronic medical condition that a geriatrician may help you to better manage your disease and improve your quality of life.
Arthritis, heart disease, and cancer are the three most common diseases facing seniors. Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Maryland, reports that arthritis affects almost 50 percent of those 65 and over. Also while the severity of the disease varies, for some seniors the condition and associated pain lowers their quality of life. If you have arthritis, experts suggest that you work closely with your doctor to develop an activity and treatment plan.
The CDC reports that heart disease is the leading killer of adults over age 65, and that 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older are afflicted with chronic heart disease. Dr. Bernard advises those with heart disease to “exercise, eat well, and get a good night’s rest.” In addition she recommends maintaining a healthy weight.
The third most common disease among seniors is cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in individuals over 65. The CDC reports that 28 percent of men and 21 percent of woman over 65 are living with cancer. They recommend that seniors get routine screenings including mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin checks, as many cancers detected early are treatable.
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.
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