”How To Keep a Great Quality of Life as You Get Older” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
We all have to get older. Except me, I still look and feel 20 years old. Did you just laugh really hard because I did! LOL
Aging can be a thing of beauty in itself. Each gray hair “Ms Clairol” covers up, it a testament to the years I’ve been riding this big sphere around the sun. Aging is a reminder of the millions of miles we’ve gone and the lives that we’ve lived. What’s more beautiful and intriguing than that?
Still, there are things we can do to try and look younger, but there’s no way to stop the aging process. Accepting that we’re aging is part of life will generally help you to be much happier. As you get older, you can expect to experience some health problems which could risk your quality of life declining. There’s a larger risk of many conditions and illnesses for older people, starting from when you reach about 50 years old. *Yikes, I’m getting closer to 50!* However, just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean your quality of life has to be worse.
There are lots of things you can do to stay healthy and happy as you age.
Problems with mobility are common for people as they get older. General wear and tear on your joints can start to take its toll, and some people experience issues such as arthritis or osteoporosis. However, while it can feel like it’s difficult to keep moving, not being active can make these problems worse. It’s important to try and keep up an active lifestyle, which will help you to stay fit and keep you strong. Low-impact activities are often best as you get older because they are gentle on your joints while still providing great exercise. They include activities such as walking, water aerobics, yoga, and swimming.
Have a Healthy Diet
Eating well is also something that can become more important as you get older. Several things can change that make your relationship with food different as you get older. Many people develop prediabetes as they age so cutting out unnecessary sugar drinks or carb rich foods is important. Right now while I’m posing this article I’m eating a grapefruit… last night I ate two chocolate swiss rolls – it’s all about balance! SIGH! Your metabolism can decrease, you might digest food more slowly and you can even experience changes in taste and smell. Even if you’ve never been much of a healthy eater before, now can be a great time to change your habits. It might be tough at first and there might be a late night swiss roll binge but keep at it! Managing your weight is good for your joints, while ensuring you get all of the right nutrients will help you to stay healthy. A healthy diet will also give you the energy you need to stay active, and it can even improve your mental health.
Keep Up with Health Checks
There are various things that are more likely to affect your health as you age. Several eye conditions are more common for older people, including near-sightedness, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Many older people also experience hearing loss and may need to explore options such as hearing aids to help them improve their quality of life. Regular sight and hearing checks can help to identify problems so they can be addressed as quickly as possible. Other health checks that can be important include checks for certain cancers, blood pressure checks and blood sugar checks. Be sure to visit your doctor regularly for check ups and keep up with your health.
Maintain a Social Life
Social isolation can be a big problem for older people. It’s especially difficult to remain active if you have mobility problems and find it difficult to get out. However, there are many ways to stay social as you get older, especially with the range of communication technology available today. Make an effort to keep in contact with family, as well as socializing with friends. It can be hard to make friends as an adult, but as your family all have their own lives, it’s important to have your own social circle. Internet access makes it a lot easier to stay in touch with people through social media, video calls, online communities, and more. And don’t forget all the IRL(in real life) activities that can be enjoyed with others. See what clubs and organizations you can be part of.
If you are retired, now is a great time to help your community by volunteering or even just sitting in on the city hall meetings and seeing what’s happening with the local government. Here are some great examples of what you can do to enjoy a social life as you age… My aunt just turned 80 this year and is part of 4 different card clubs. She has about 4 nights a week she meets up with other people to play bridge and other card games. At her birthday party there were well over 60 people that came to wish her Happy Birthday. SHE TURNED 80 AND HAD 60 PEOPLE AT HER PARTY! How cool is that?! Plus, she drives a car with a Hemi; obviously, she’s one of my heros. LOL My parents are also my heros. My dad stays active by going to get coffee some mornings in their little town at the gas station and sitting with other guys (young and old) getting coffee. He also helps veterans with figuring out how to submit paperwork to the VA and get the medical attention they need. My mom is active in her church, helps so many people in need, and helps people with weddings(just volunteers her wedding supply stash). My uncle who’s around 83 organizes his local monthly professional engineering meeting (next month there’s some NASA researcher coming to lecture on the Earth’s biosphere). He also is part of several organizations like the Watercolor Society for the city he lives. He doesn’t paint at all but enjoys seeing what people create and socializing. As we age, it’s a great time to check out things we have thought about but never had the time to enjoy. Now’s your time to get out there and be social!
Keep Your Mind Active
Keeping your mind engaged is another smart way to maintain a good quality of life as you get older. While you’re not guaranteed to have memory problems or cognitive issues, they can be an issue for many people as they age. Giving your brain lots of things to do helps to exercise it, just like you might exercise your body. There are plenty of things that exercise your brain, from knitting to doing crosswords or reading books. Netflix and YouTube don’t count though. Just kidding! There are some interesting documentaries and how to videos on both. This week my kids are going to watch a master class on YouTube about rock climbing. My husband (nearing 50) has started taking cooking classes this past year with online videos. If being online is not your thing, check out your local library or schools for enrichment programs. The local community college here sends out a catalog each semester with non college classes available.
Look for Joy
Some people find that the reality of getting older gets them down. However, getting older doesn’t have to be depressing. In fact, it often means that you have fewer responsibilities and more time on your hands to do the things that you enjoy. As you age, make sure you fill your life with the things that bring you joy and that you’re passionate about. Find things that give meaning to your life, whether it’s spending time with family, picking up a new hobby or restarting an old one, getting involved with your community or going traveling.
You can’t avoid the aging process, but there are ways you can maintain a great quality of life as you get older.