The new year is synonymous with making resolutions and creating new habits. If taking better care of yourself is high on your New Year’s resolutions list, we’ve got a webinar for you!
We’ve partnered with Dr. Mehrdad Ayati, Stanford, Geriatrician, University alum, and Kensington Place Redwood City Medical Director.
The way we live can affect how well we live
Our lifestyle habits, and choices can significantly impact our quality of life—especially as we age.
Healthy aging habits like eating nutritious meals, participating in social activities, and engaging in regular exercise all contribute to improved quality of life.
In contrast, smoking habits can cause respiratory or cardiovascular deterioration (or worse). And consuming excessive amounts of salt, sugar, or alcohol can lead to poor health.
What are some of the challenges faced by today’s aging population?
The number of older adults currently living in the United States is increasing.
Between now and 2030, when the remaining “baby boomers” turn 65, the number of older adults is expected to jump from almost 50 million to nearly 70 million.
And by 2050, that number is projected to be roughly 90 million—in other words, 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 years or older.
And without preventative wellness, most of these 90 million could face multiple chronic healthcare conditions.
The diverse needs of elderly aging
Older adults face additional changes for increased social service, healthcare, and long-term care needs.
Elderly aging healthcare needs differ from the generalized healthcare approach aimed at younger adults.
They found that nearly 95% of all older adults are living with at least one chronic condition, and nearly 80% of all older Americans have multiple chronic conditions.
What is the importance of preventative healthcare vs. the diagnostic system?
When used in tandem, preventative and diagnostic healthcare can help promote and encourage healthy aging.
Diagnostic care centers around an existing condition and prioritizes ongoing monitoring, checking for new symptoms, and follow-up examinations or additional diagnostics when initial test results fall outside the “normal” range.
Currently, the main focus of much of the American healthcare system leans toward a diagnostic approach—treating illnesses after the fact, resulting in patients who receive “reactive” care, i.e., care and treatment based on the symptoms or characteristics of the medical condition present.
By comparison, preventative healthcare is proactive and strives to deal with medical or health-related issues before they require medical intervention or treatment.
Examples of preventative healthcare include vaccines, screenings, and education encouraging healthy behaviors.
Preventive care can support our loved ones as they age, preventing or lessening the severity of chronic conditions, often in just a few minutes a day.
The benefits of preventative care include
- Increasing life expectancy
- Improving our overall quality of life
- Living an active lifestyle as we age
- Early diagnosis of medical conditions—often when easier to treat
- Reducing the risk of some diseases, including cancer, diabetes, chronic pain
- Reducing stress
- Improving the management of existing conditions
What are some of the best tips for healthy aging?
Healthy aging isn’t something we do once and forget about; rather, it requires ongoing care and commitment.
Incorporating healthy aging habits into our daily routines is a great way to do just that. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle now can help us age with continued good health.
Eating a well-rounded, balanced diet with a variety of foods and limiting your intake of processed foods, alcohol, and stimulants such as caffeine.
Implementing stress reduction techniques such as meditation or limiting time on social media.
Striving to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every 24 hours (this can include several short naps during the day)
Combating isolation by engaging with others in your community.
Regular physical activity—as little as 15 minutes a day—can contribute to healthy aging by improving brain health, strengthening bones and muscles, and improving your ability to do everyday activities.
Avoid trips and falls
Taking steps to prevent accidental injury from trips or falls, such as regular vision and hearing screening, checking medications and dosages, participating in physical or rehabilitation therapy to improve balance, and living in an environment geared toward elder safety—all support healthy aging.
How The Kensington Sierra Madre devotes care to benefit both seniors and their family caregivers
We understand that one of the best ways we can assist our residents is by supporting their carers. To do that, we strive to partner with elder aging and wellness experts like Dr. Ayati and others, offer live events, and keep our caregiver resource blog up to date with information and insights.