Tips for healthy aging: Your 80s and beyond

Mar 11, 2015



Part seven of our seven-part series

Aging begins at birth. Even so, the way we age changes with each successive decade of life. The following tips can help you make the most of your late senior years.

Avoid falls

Many things can be done to prevent falls, which can result in debilitating injuries—especially hip fractures—and loss of independence.  Safety measures include:

  • Correcting poor vision
    Be especially aware of a decrease in depth perception.
  • Wearing proper shoes
    Wear lace-up or Velcro shoes with adequate heel support and non-slip soles. Avoid high heels. And don’t walk around barefoot or in stocking feet—even indoors.
  • Checking your meds
    Talk to doctor about stopping or lowering dosages on medications that can cause problems with balance.
  • Getting equipment
    Use canes or walkers if needed. If you fall frequently, consider hip pads.
  • Avoiding too much alcohol
    Pace your drinking to avoid tipsiness.  Also, be aware of possibly dangerous interactions with prescription medications.

Stay steady

Eliminate loose electrical cords and throw rugs in your home. Make sure rooms and passageways are well lit. Use handholds in bathrooms.

Socialize

Maintaining regular contact with friends and family members will help to keep you physically active and mentally sharp. The ability to make new friends at this age is especially valuable. Nurture friendships at clubs, exercise groups, church, etc.

Stay physically active

Exercise with the goals of increasing strength and coordination. Try to do something every day to maintain your muscle strength and conditioning. Senior exercise classes, swimming, and mall walking are great choices. If illness or injury slows you down, make rehabilitation a top priority.  

Let friends and family help you

Although many people remain quite sharp well into their eighties, others begin to experience steep declines in mental functioning at this age. This can put you at risk for preventable injuries or complications of chronic illness. Staying healthy and happy often requires allowing others to help you with transportation, cooking, getting medical care, and other functions of daily life. If you need more support than friends and family can provide, contact your local senior service center.

Your nineties

Stay the course

You’re obviously doing something right. So keep moving, keep socializing, and celebrate your life. Longevity is a fine achievement.

Share your wisdom

Let’s face it. At this point, you probably know more about living healthy than the rest of us. Share what you’ve learned about healthy aging. You can leave a comment in our comment section below.

Check out more health tips for your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies on our Healthy Findings blog.

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Healthy aging: Never too early—or too late

Advice based on your current decade of life.


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