The healthy habits of older adults
Ways to improve your quality of life.
You can’t stop aging. But there are things you can do to help you live longer. These healthy habits may also improve your quality of life.
Take care not to fall
Each year, one in four older adults will suffer a fall.1 Injuries can result in hospitalization and even death. People who fall often can’t move or walk around as well afterwards. And that can lead to a loss of independence.
Talk with your doctor or look for a community program to learn more about preventing falls. Here are some tips to help improve safety at home:
- Make sure your rooms are well-lit so you can see where you’re going.
- Move small furniture, rugs or cords out of walkways so you don’t trip.
- Put grab bars on the stairs and in the bathroom so you have something to hold you up.
- Know where your pets so they don’t get under your feet.
Watch out for depression
Depression can be a serious issue for older adults. The exact cause of depression isn’t always clear. But these are known factors that can raise the chances for depression:
- A life-changing event, like losing a spouse or friend, retirement or a change in living situation.
- A serious health issue, such as a heart attack, stroke, broken hip or loss of vision.
- Depression is a known side effect of certain medicines, such as those for high blood pressure.
- Alcohol and substance abuse can also play a role. Alcohol is a depressant and people feel the effects of alcohol more with age.
The National Council on Aging encourages people to learn how to overcome depression and unhealthy behaviors. Getting help from a doctor or support group may help you lead a more rewarding life.
Look at ways to eat healthier
Your calorie needs change as you age. Talk to your doctor about a healthy eating plan for you. Focus on foods that are nutrient-rich, but low in saturated fats. Limit red meat, full-fat dairy and processed foods. And choose fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads. Also remember to balance the calories you eat and drink by working them off with exercise.
- 1“Falls are common,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 21, 2018
- National Council on Aging, Center for Healthy Aging
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.