“Growing old isn’t for sissies”-Bette Davis
No truer words have been spoken. By the age of 65, 80% of us will have one chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer. Half of the 80% will have at least two. By the age of 80, virtually none of us will escape a chronic condition.
Sobering statistics. So what do we do? Shrivel up in a ball and wait for the inevitable or pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and deal with it?
My vote is for the latter. I say we learn to accept the aging process and handle it like all the other challenges we faced in our lifetime.
From what I have observed over the past decade working with senior citizens, the ones that “age gracefully’ are those that do not allow their chronic conditions to defeat them. They may not be any healthier than those next to them; however, they possess a positive attitude about living. They take control of their healthcare needs and put in the effort to stay healthy. They do not allow their conditions to define their lives; rather they have learned to handle the burden of their disease and continue to live well.
The following are 10 goals* to follow to maintain healthy aging.
- Lower blood pressure 5) Maintain healthy bones, joints and muscles
- Regulate blood sugars 6) Stop smoking 9) Combat depression
- Lower LDL cholesterol 7) Participate in cancer screening 10) Maintain social contact
- Be physically active 8) Get immunized regularly
To these goals, I also add:
- Be educated about the medications you are taking.
- Ensure you are taking the correct medications for your condition and you individually.
- Avoid drug interactions and adverse effects
- Make sure you are taking your medications correctly.
Our Personal Pharmacist has the expertise to guide you in the decision process and help you maintain your health so you can enjoy what is most valuable to you.
*Source: The University of Pittsburgh Center for Aging and Population Health