You’ve gone through many changes over the years—from physical changes to changes in routine as you downsize or retire, or even changes in your level of activity. In fact, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change.” As you look ahead to additional changes in your later years, focus on three areas to help you stay healthy, fit, and connected.
Now is not the time to become lax about your physical health. As you age, it’s more important than ever to maintain regular checkups, dental care, and vision screenings. Be sure to keep all appointments with your family medicine provider. He or she knows your medical history, is familiar with your family background, and will involve you in the decision-making process for your care plan. Nutrition is also important, so be aware of what you are eating to fuel your body so you can achieve maximum health.
Is walking your thing, or do you enjoy golf or swimming in the fitness center pool? However you like to move, it’s essential to maintain your physical fitness. If you feel less mobile or even unsteady on your feet, talk to your doctor about exercises or physical therapy that could help you with balance and strengthening concerns. Your health plan may even offer Silver Sneakers, which includes a membership to a wellness center. As you explore your options for maintaining fitness, begin by getting some comfortable walking shoes and get moving!
As your health and circumstances allow, seek out ways to stay connected with your family, friends, and community. Volunteer to read to children at the public library or a local school. Do you have a life skill or occupation you could share with older students or adults through Community Education sessions? Offer to teach a class about your hobby—from gardening to painting or starting a book club; others will surely be interested. Stay connected via technology, too, with a computer class or visit a cellphone store and ask how you can video chat with family and friends. Finally, don’t miss gatherings at your service organization, social groups like pickleball or a book club, or faith traditions—schedule dates to eat out or have coffee with a different person(s) each week.
Whatever your age, continue to look for ways to enjoy, experience, and even embrace life’s changes.