Aging: Challenges to Anticipate and Mitigate

Aging changes your body throughout many years. The changes are subtle, and you’d notice them one day when you can no longer run as fast or bend down without your back hurting. But aging doesn’t have to surprise you.

By anticipating the challenges you might face in your old age, you can prepare accordingly. As a result, you can spend your golden years with a sharp wit and a healthy body.

If your retirement age is just around the corner, expect these challenges soon:

1. Dry and Less Supple Skin

Signs of aging can appear on your skin as early as your 20s. But when you’re way older, the changes become irreversible. Moisturizers won’t restore hydration on your skin as effectively anymore. That’s because aging skin makes less oil.

In addition, you sweat less, shedding off the fatty tissue underneath the surface of your skin. This can give your cheeks a hollow appearance.

While wrinkles and dry skin won’t cause major challenges, they can affect your self-esteem and body image. It’s not easy to accept that you’re getting old and wrinkled, even if you’re 65. That’s why many women — and some men — delay their aging through cosmetic procedures. A meticulous skincare routine helps, too. But if you can no longer reverse your aging, the only choice you have is to slow down its progression.

If you have any vices, especially smoking, quit it. Not only will it destroy your health, but it also deepens your wrinkles. Wear sunscreen daily too, and check your skin for odd changes, like moles. A new mole on adults over 60 can be a sign of skin cancer.

2. Slips of the Mind

Slips of the mind, a.k.a. forgetfulness, are common among the elderly. Some people in their 20s experience it, but it’s rarely severe. In senior adults, memory lapses are a result of natural bodily declines during aging. It causes difficulty when learning something new, multitasking issues, and memorizing names, numbers, and appointments.

Thankfully, you can prevent further cognitive decline before it’s too late. Maintain an active lifestyle, engage in intellectually stimulating activities, and stay socially active. In addition, keep stress at bay, get enough sleep, and eat a well-balanced diet.

3. Mobility Issues

Mobility issues are one of the most common reasons many seniors prefer to live in cozy senior living centers. They can receive assistance in daily tasks that can strain their body, such as house chores, gardening, and bathing. On the other hand, aging in place puts them at risk of slips, falls, and trips that can be fatal or permanently disabling.

But of course, you don’t have to wait until you’re unable to walk before addressing mobility issues. Whether you want to age in place or stay in a nursing home, prevent accidents by modifying your home. Install grab bars in bathrooms, ramps in shallow stairwells, and chair lifts in stair railings. Strengthen your muscles and bones as well by exercising and eating healthy food.

When you start finding it hard to sit and stand, try balance and strength exercises, and consult your doctor, too. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded when sitting or standing, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

4. Weaker Heart

Heart disease is the number one killer of adults over 65 years old. If you have a family history of heart disease, start getting checked regularly when you reach 60 or earlier. Men should be more cautious since heart disease affects them more commonly than women.

Your risks for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack increase as you age, so don’t be complacent just because you don’t feel any sign of a disease. If your endurance and stamina begin to weaken, consider the possibility of a weakened heart. Then get checked to confirm if you need to take medication.

5. Other Health Issues

Aside from heart disease, you could also be at risk for cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, lung disease, and more. Hence, while you’re still young, observe a healthy lifestyle. It’s the best way to prevent serious illnesses.

And when you get older, get checked more frequently, and follow your doctor’s advice. If you’d find it impossible to maintain your health on your own, seek help from a family member, or consider moving to an assisted living facility, like a nursing home. With health professionals nearby 24/7, you can take care of your health without missing a beat.

Aging doesn’t have to be dreadful. It may not be a perfect time in your life, but you shouldn’t be resigned to health and mobility issues. You can still be bright, agile, and healthy if you defend yourself against the negative effects of aging.

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