As the seasons change, the transition to the colder months can be a challenge to stay healthy. As the season of cold and flu looms ahead, coupled with COVID-19, it can be difficult for seniors to ward off illness. Taking proactive steps can help keep seniors stay protected this fall.

This starts with getting routine checkups and preventive screenings with a doctor and dentists. Getting routine preventive care helps reduce the risk of illnesses, diseases, disabilities, and death. Many screenings catch early signs of cancer or other diseases to provide time for more effective treatment. These visits also give seniors the opportunity to discuss concerns they might be having about their health, eating habits, activity level, or medications they are be taking. Oral health is vital to overall health, and advancing age puts many seniors at risk for several oral health conditions. Conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis make it difficult for seniors to brush or floss their teeth and medications can affect a senior’s oral health, so regular appointments address these concerns as they arise.

Nearly a third of all adults report getting less than the recommended amount of sleep, and lack of sleep is linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. There can be many reasons why aging adults don’t get enough sleep including medications, chronic pain, poor dietary habits, and lack of exercise. Deterioration associated with different forms of dementia also affect the way that the brain processes sleep, and problems with the circadian rhythm system become more common in dementia patients. Getting quality sleep helps maintain mood, physical health, and brain health. Establishing a regular routine with a consistent wake up time, increasing physical activity during the daytime, spending time outdoors or under bright light therapy during the day, and optimizing environmental cues for sleep can all help contribute to improved sleep for seniors.

Stress is a regular part of life, and it’s normal for older adults to experience periods of stress, especially as they transition through stages of life such as retiring or moving to a new home. As we age, our heart fitness and lung capacity may decline over time, which makes the body’s response to stress more difficult to handle. Managing stress is vital to maintaining overall health. Taking care of your body, making time to unwind and do activities you enjoy, connecting with friends, family, and community, all help reduce your stress and risk of stress-related illnesses or conditions.

For more information about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, give us a call today at 850-894-6720 or email us at info@gcmsolutions.net to find out how we help seniors every day get and stay healthy.