STEVENS POINT, WI (Submitted to OnFocus) – Have you noticed that the words in books and on signs seem to be getting smaller? Do you find it harder to get down on your knees and get up again?
There’s no question that age brings changes to our lives. And yes, some of them we’d prefer to avoid.
“There are so many ways older adults can maintain health and happiness, and lead fulfilling lives,” said Hannah Oswald, geriatric nurse practitioner with Aspirus Stevens Point Clinic. “It’s important as we age to remain active and connected with those around us.”
Physically, for example, stiffening joints can make it harder to get around. And many people find that their short-term memory just isn’t what it used to be. Often, difficult personal situations, such as the death of a spouse, can add to the negative changes.
But age can bring positive changes too. One survey found that many older people say they have less stress and more time for family, interests, and hobbies than they used to. In fact, most older people report they are satisfied with their lives.
To a great extent, what older age will be like for you depends on how you live now. It also depends on how you cope with the changes that come your way. You can’t turn back time. Still, you can take steps to help make getting older easier and more pleasant.
Oswald suggests practicing the following tips:
Decide to have an active mind and body. Remember the saying “use it or lose it.”
Opt to be involved. Isolation can contribute to depression and other health problems, so keep connected to family and friends. Social connections can help ensure you have physical and emotional support for what comes your way.
Choose a healthy lifestyle. Try to:
Stay at a healthy weight
Get enough rest
Quit smoking if you do
Do what you can to stay safe
See your doctor regularly
Make the most of your spare time. Do things you enjoy and allow yourself some downtime. Too much stress can bring on a host of health problems.
Practice healthy ways to cope. Believe in yourself and remember: You can handle whatever comes your way.
“Taking charge of your health is one of the many ways you can stay proactive in keeping healthy,” said Oswald. “Keeping up to date on recommended screenings is important.”
A general rule for staying healthy is to keep up with your preventive care. For you and your family, that may mean catching up on any routine clinic visits and preventive health services. Preventive care includes screening tests, vaccines, and wellness checkups that help you stay healthy.
To schedule an appointment with Hannah Oswald or another provider at Aspirus Stevens Point Clinic, call 715.344.1600. To learn more about Aspirus Health, visit aspirus.org.
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