Women’s Health for Seniors
Advancing into the second half of your life is an accomplishment worth celebrating, and there is much life to live as you enter your 60s and 70s. In fact, extensive research shows that happiness and satisfaction with life is at an all time high late in life. You will have gained wisdom, patience, strength, and confidence. You can spend more time with your family, experiment with hobbies, learn new skills, travel, perform volunteer work, or further your education. Your brain hits peak performance, and you can truly feel comfortable in your own skin.
What to Expect from Your Checkups
As a woman, one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health late in age is to visit your doctor for regular checkups. During these visits, your doctor may identify any potential issues early on or before you show symptoms. Something that seems simple, like the flu, can rapidly progress, involve dangerous complications, or result in secondary infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. If you already suffer from a chronic condition like asthma, this can further exacerbate an illness.
Because of these risks, it is crucial to make healthy choices, monitor your body for new signs and symptoms, and contact your physician right away if you become ill. Your doctor will perform tests to determine if you are experiencing any of the conditions listed below, and can serve as the first line of defense when health issues arise.
Health Risks for Senior Women
Common health conditions among senior women include:
- Heart disease
- Cervical and breast cancer
- High blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- High cholesterol
- Thyroid issues
How to Stay Healthy
Follow these tips to stay healthy after 65:
1. Stay Active
Physical activity offers a wide range of important benefits late in life. It boosts your immune system so it can more effectively fight inflammation and infections, enhances brain performance, keeps bones and muscles in good shape, improves sleep, reduces your chances of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and can even delay or improve cognitive decline. Experts recommend walking, biking, swimming, water aerobics, yoga, resistance band workouts, dumbbell strength training, and other low-impact activities. You should engage in 30 minutes of exercise every day, but if that becomes too strenuous, you can break it up into smaller segments.
2. Eat Healthily
Vegetables and fruits provide fiber, essential vitamins and minerals that fight disease, and antioxidants that protect your body’s cells from free radical damage. Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits lowers cholesterol, improves depression, boosts mood, fights fatigue, and reduces the risk of cancer, memory problems, and chronic disease. Nuts, fish, and olive oil have also been shown to boost cognitive function in seniors. Avoid sugary, fatty meat, butter, salt, and packaged foods, and limit alcohol intake.
3. Consider Genetic Testing
If your family history includes dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, or macular degeneration, you should consider genetic testing. Several neurodegenerative diseases have a genetic connection, and this testing can identify your chances of developing these diseases before you experience symptoms. Your test results help physicians make an accurate diagnosis, and you can use genetic counseling to guide your treatment and provide vital information for your family members who may also be susceptible to the same conditions.
Be Proactive With Your Health at Every Age
While getting older presents many opportunities for women, it also brings its own unique set of challenges. Ensuring you can meet these challenges requires making a commitment to continued care and testing so that you can live your best life.