Older adults make up a big part of the Snohomish County community – in fact, for every 10 Snohomish County residents, three are 55+. Helping them stay healthy and independent for as long as possible is important not only for seniors, but for the entire community.
What are the key ways to stay healthy, happy and active as we age? Snohomish County Health Department shares their top 5 tips:
- Eat your greens (and other good-for-you foods) – Eating a balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats supports both your physical and mental health. Eating regularly throughout the day also helps maintain energy levels and a healthy weight as you age. Being underweight has health consequences just like being overweight, and appetite loss is common among older adults. If you’ve noticed overeating or under-eating in yourself or a loved one, consider connecting with your doctor. You can find more information about nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight from the CDC online here.
- Social butterflies thrive well into their senior years – Regular, positive interactions with others can help reduce depression and anxiety while reinforcing good habits like staying active and eating healthy. Volunteering or mentoring can be a great way to make new connections.
- Maintain regular doctor appointments – Routine health checks and properly managing chronic conditions are important pieces in the overall health puzzle. Regular doctor visits can help catch new issues early, which can bring better long-term outcomes. If you haven’t seen a doctor recently, consider booking a full health assessment.
- Prevent falls and understand your medications – Staying active to maintain your balance, removing tripping hazards and installing hand rails and grab bars can go a long way toward reducing the risk of falling. It’s also important to understand which medications affect your cognitive abilities or balance to further reduce fall risks. As we age, our bodies have a harder time recovering from injuries – even minor ones – so prevention is an excellent proactive approach to health management.
- Mental health matters at every age! Reading, puzzles, travel and learning new skills or languages are effective ways to exercise your brain and maintain cognitive health and have been proven to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s also important to look after your emotional and mental health – if you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression or suicidal ideation reach out to a trusted healthcare professional. Caring for your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health.
Learn more about the Snohomish County Health Department’s many services at snohd.org and find them on Facebook here.
Community Resources for Seniors and their caregivers:
Geriatric Depression Screening
Snohomish County Senior Centers
Senior Peer Counseling Program
Senior Information & Assistance
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