The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 9, 2013

Simple things help make healthy aging possible


SNAP

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 — Have you noticed that the numbers in the phone book seem smaller and harder to read? Is getting down on your knees to look under the bed more difficult? Do you reach for support to stand?

Assuredly, age brings changes to our lives, particularly physical chan-ges. Stiffening joints can make moving around more difficult. Short-term memory loss can pose a challenge. Often difficult situations, such as the death of a spouse, can add to the negative and debilitating changes.

On the other hand, age can bring positive changes as well.

One survey concluded that many older people have less stress and more time for family, interests and hobbies than in the past.

In fact, the vast majority of older people report satisfaction with their lives.

Dr. Christina Adams of Albemarle Medical Services explains that to a great extent, how you live now will affect how you live in the upcoming years. “Your future will also depend upon how you cope with the changes that come your way,” says Dr. Adams.  

“You may not be able to turn back time, but you can move in a direction that may make aging easier and more pleasant.”

She suggests the following pointers:

Decide to have an active mind and body. Remember the adage:  “Use it or lose it.”

Be involved. Isola-tion can contribute to depression and other health problems. Stay connected to family and friends. Social connections can help ensure that you have physical and emotional support for what comes your way.

Choose a healthy lifestyle. The advice you heard when you were younger still applies:  

Eat well.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Get sufficient rest.

Do not smoke.

Follow safety regulations.

See your doctor regularly.

Relish your leisure time. Do things you enjoy and allow yourself some downtime. Too much stress can contribute to a host of health problems.

Practice healthy ways to cope. Believe in yourself and reaffirm that you can handle whatever comes your way.

Finally, Dr. Adams shares with readers what she tells her patients – that mental and emotional health tend to correlate with physical health.  “So stay positive and optimistic.”