Health in the 60s – How to Prevent Common Health Issues on Time?
Some time ago, the 60s were considered old age, when people are expected to be ill, not very mobile and agile and not much more than a burden to their families and society. However, things have changed drastically. The changes are not only due to medical advances and newly found cures for various illnesses but mainly to the improved lifestyle in the decades preceding the 60s.
Needless to say, everyone ages differently, but improvements in both physical and mental health are hard to miss, especially if you have been mentally and physically active all your life. Still, some health issues remain typical of older age, but they can be prevented up to a point if you know what you’ll be dealing with in your 60s.
Coronary heart disease
One of the most common health issues affecting the elderly and leading causes of death after the age of 60 is a coronary heart disease. If you’re overweight, suffer from hypertension or have impaired glucose tolerance, you’re running a huge risk. Logically, the best prevention is a healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet, regular physical exercise and cutting down on alcohol and smoking. It’s also important to visit your doctor regularly in order to monitor your health. The sooner you discover a health issue, the better chances you’ll have of controlling it.
Preserve your senses
We know that many older people experience some problems related to hearing and eyesight. As your inner ear or middle ear change over the years, you might encounter some hearing problems. They could also be caused by the changes in the function of the nerve pathways leading from your ear to your brain. Avoiding loud noises as much as possible lowers your chances of age-related hearing impairment.
When it comes to your eyesight, it simply can’t be that good any more when you reach your 60s. The most common problems include glaucoma, dry eyes and cataract. Such issues progress with time and you might need a surgical intervention. Luckily, ophthalmology has really developed and these surgeries are now quite effective and safe. If you’re living in Australia, for example, you should definitely consider doing your laser eye surgery in Sydney, with some of the leading experts at your disposal.
Another health problem common among the elderly is arthritis, i.e. the tenderness or swelling of joints, which can lead to stiffness and severe pain. There are many types of arthritis and in case you detect any problems with your joints, you need to visit a specialist, who can set the right diagnose and treatment. Unfortunately, you can’t completely prevent it, but you can reduce the risk of getting it or delay it to an extent. Again, a balanced diet, which will help you maintain normal weight, is the key. That means you’ll put less pressure on your joints and they’ll be able to serve you well for many years to come. Finally, if you’re physically active, you need to make sure you don’t get an injury which can lead to some types of arthritis.
If you’ve been active all your life, chances are your bones, joints and muscles will be in good shape once your reach 60. However, aging and inactivity can easily lead to achy joints due to the wearing down of cartilage, loss of lubricating joint fluid and weaker muscles. Again, it’s important to maintain a normal weight and exercise regularly. Namely, weight-bearing exercises stimulate bones to grow stronger and denser, which can be good protection against bone fractures and osteoporosis. You might need to take some vitamin D and calcium supplements, but that is quite normal.
We know that our metabolism slows as we grow older, but that doesn’t mean we should give up and accept that we’ll gain weight in our 60s. The easiest way is to remain active and reduce calorie-intake if you want to prevent gaining excess weight. Also, it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated at all times, which means you should drink even when you’re not thirsty.
Of course, there are many other health issues you might need to deal with in your 60s, but these listed above are the most common in the world. As you can see, prevention can really go a long way when it comes to avoiding or delaying health problems, but you shouldn’t wait for your senior years to start worrying about your health. Finally, if you have any health concerns, talk to your MD as soon as possible and find out if you have any health problems and how to treat them.