Caring for Your Health as You Grow Older
With age comes wisdom — but it also comes with a lot of changes to our bodies. As you get older, it’s important to care for your body so you can live a long, happy life and prevent disease. You should also know what to do in the event of an emergency, to give you or your loved one the best care possible.
Here are some ways to get started:
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
One of the best ways to protect your body from numerous types of chronic diseases is to lead an overall healthy lifestyle. This includes eating well, exercising often, and quitting bad habits.
Improving Your Diet
Even if you think you eat pretty well, the diet you may have had in your 40s or 50s is not suitable as you grow older. Here are some changes you can make to make sure your diet supports your age:
- Eat fewer calories.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat more nutrient-dense foods.
- Take supplements to take in extra vitamins and minerals.
- Choose foods that support brain function and fight off dementia or Alzheimers.
Staying active is great — but don’t overdo it. It’s recommended that seniors age 65 and older get at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise every week. This means about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Rather than choosing an intense workout, opt for activities like brisk walking, hiking, and water aerobics.
Out With the Bad
It’s no secret that smoking and heavily consuming alcohol are bad for your health. If you have been meaning to quit smoking, consider this your sign to start the journey.
You can drink in moderation by limiting yourself to 2 drinks or less in a day for men, and 1 drink or less in a day for women. Check-in with your doctor first to see if alcohol interferes with any of the medications you’re taking.
Read More: For more information on healthy lifestyle tips, visit our wellness blog.
Visiting Your Doctor Frequently
Whether you know you have a family history of medical conditions, have an existing condition, or are in moderately good health — it’s important to visit your doctor regularly.
In addition to performing regular exams to check your blood pressure, joints, and weight, your doctor will recommend you for additional screenings and services depending on your age and gender. Some of these include:
- Vaccinations (tetanus, shingles, pneumococcal, the flu, COVID-19, and other conditions.)
- Cancer screenings (colorectal, breast, cervical, lung, and prostate.)
- Additional health screenings (cognitive, diabetes, osteoporosis, hepatitis, HIV, and other STIs.)
Knowing the Signs of a Medical Emergency
In addition to caring for your body through preventative care, it’s important to know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Whether you or your loved one lives at home alone or in a group home, we know that it can be scary to determine whether or not to go to the emergency room. These are common signs you should go to the ER:
- Trouble breathing.
- Chest pains.
- Sudden slurred speech.
- Unresponsive/unconscious or disoriented.
- Severe allergic reaction.
- Sudden blindness.
- Vomiting blood.
- Sudden weakness.
- Bleeding that will not stop.
- Broken bones.
- Serious burns.
Additionally, the most common reasons elderly patients visit the ER include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Slips and falls.
- Trouble breathing.
- Chest pain.
Emergency Diagnostic Imaging Services
Depending on your condition, you may need one of the following imaging services:
Though ultrasounds are most commonly used during pregnancy, they can help emergency room doctors diagnose patients of all ages with other conditions — including the elderly. Ultrasounds can help with:
- Cardiac issues.
- Abdominal issues.
- General biopsies.
- Blood vessel issues.
- Joint & muscle issues.
Slips and falls are very common in elderly patients, and broken bones are more likely as their bones and joints are more brittle with age. X-rays can help us determine the extent of your loved one’s injuries. Some of the other common types of X-rays we would order include:
- Chest (lungs, heart, bones)
- Abdomen (bowels)
- Urogram (kidneys, bladder etc.)
A CT scan combines multiple different types of X-rays into one scan. These images are taken from different angles to show a specific part of the body in detail. Common areas your emergency room doctor may order a CT scan for include:
- Head (brain, eyes, inner ears, sinuses.)
- Chest (heart and lungs.)
- Abdomen (GI tract, bladder, reproductive systems.)
- Skeletal system.
- Spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar.)
Emergency Services in Paris
At Quality Care ER, our radiology technicians and imaging staff are fully trained to accurately and precisely perform examinations and tests with in-house timely results. If your elderly loved one is experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 and visit our team.