Elder

Staying Active as a Senior: What to Do & How to Do It

What can you do to improve your mood, manage stress, remain cognitively agile, and improve your overall health? No matter what age you are, physical activity is crucial for your mental and physical wellbeing. If you’re hoping to have more energy even as you get older, exercise is a great way to do it. It has the ability to keep you living independently longer, and your risk of disease decreases. So as a senior, what are some good ways to stay active, and how can you do it safely? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Start Slow & Take It Easy

If it’s been a while since you’ve been physically active, make sure you start slowly. The goal is to stay as healthy as possible. You’ll really want to ease yourself into exercise so you don’t sustain any kind of injury whatsoever. Don’t push yourself too hard – listen to what your body is telling you. Work your way up in intervals of maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Give yourself time and space to breathe.

  1. Make It a Priority

It’s important to understand that in order to really maximize the benefits of being active, it should be done on a regular basis. Try to develop of a routine for yourself. Having a somewhat steady routine in general can also help boost your mood. It might be easiest to try exercising first thing in the morning. Motivate yourself to get going – that way you can treat yourself by relaxing later in the day.

  1. Get Social

Invite a couple of friends to get active with you! Use this as a time where you can socialize and catch up with everyone while also doing something great for your health. The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the more you’ll want to do it!

  1. Make It Fun – Do What Works for You

What do you enjoy? You might try walking, gardening, yoga, or water aerobics. This is a great opportunity for you to explore some things you may have never tried before. Get creative, and make your daily exercise something that you have fun doing!

Switch it up occasionally as well. On nice days you can go for brisk walks with friends or put a pair of headphones in with your favorite music while you work in the yard. Walking is also great because you can do it indoors if the weather isn’t great. Water aerobics, swimming and yoga can also be done indoors, so you can get yearlong enjoyment out of them.

Consider different activities that can help improve your endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance. When you do lots of different activities, you reap the benefits of many different types of exercises.

  1. Listen to Your Doctor

Always consult with you doctor before trying anything new. It’s so important that he or she is up to date on what you’re doing. If you’re at risk for heart disease or have any health concerns whatsoever, it’s especially important you talk with your doctor beforehand. Safety is the number one priority! Listen to your doctor, listen to your body and have fun staying active!

Medication Safety Tips for Seniors

For many seniors, taking medications becomes part of daily life in order to manage certain health conditions that often come with getting older. While some seniors may view being prescribed a drug as a negative thing, many medications can help extend one’s life and improve overall health. Whether you’ve been taking a medication for years or were recently prescribed a medication, it’s important that you know how to take your medications safely and properly. Follow these medication safety tips to avoid serious complications:

Know What You’re Taking

When your doctor prescribes you any kind of medication, short or long term, it’s important to learn as much as you can about your medication. At your appointment, it’s a good idea to take notes and jot down any questions you may have, as well as any information he or she gives you. If you’re afraid you may not understand or remember what your doctor is telling you about your medication, bring someone with you to the appointment. Here are some questions you should ask before taking your medication:

Why am I taking this medicine and what/how is it treating?
Are there any side effects? How will I feel? How will I know if it’s working?
What happens if I skip a dosage? Do I have to take it at the same time every day?
How should I take it? With food? On an empty stomach?
Are there less expensive, generic brands that work the same?

A good rule of thumb is to ask as many questions as you have and don’t leave your appointment until you feel completely informed. It’s likely that questions or concerns may come up as you take the medication, so keep track of those questions as well and save them for your next appointment or call your doctor.
Don’t Forget Your Other Medications

New medications may interact negatively with other medications you may be taking so it’s important that your doctor knows of all drugs you take from prescribed to OTC to supplements. In addition to be aware of any side effects, it’s important to know if the new medication (when taken with or without other medications) will impair your driving, can be taken with alcohol, or may worsen other medical conditions. Sometimes, even a particular food should be avoided when taking a medication so be sure to read all instructions and warnings carefully.

Keep in Contact with Your Doctor
Once you start taking a new medication, it’s important to stay in contact with your doctor. Even if you start to experience some of the “expected” side effects, it’s a good idea to keep track of how you feel (physically, mentally, emotionally) when you take your medication. If you don’t like how you feel, do not stop taking medication on your own. Always talk with your doctor before changing a dosage and an abrupt stop on a medication can cause serious health problems.

Cyber Security for Seniors

In the current form of the cyber world, safety has become an issue for a great many reasons. Utilizing the internet can sometimes bring more harm than good, especially when the user is rather clueless of the mechanics of it all. Over-sharing through the internet is a serious issue that is mainly common among young ones. With the recent fluctuation of users, its important to consider cyber security for seniors. They may not be very familiar with technology, and may fall prey to online dangers more easily. This is where the Center for Internet Security comes in.

 

The Threat of Scams Challenges Cyber Security for Seniors

 

One of the main concerns of internet security are scams, and their ability to spread prolifically around the globe. There are mountains of evidence of scams that have cost fortunes. Among the most common victims are the elderly who can be a little too nice, and even gullible, when it comes to sharing. On top of this fact, they are also less likely to report it. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that older Americans are less likely to report a fraud, even after having experienced it.

 

A Discernible Level of Awareness

 

Internet users must be wary of suspicious messages. The elderly must be warned of ‘inviting’ messages like “Free gifts!” and “You’re a winner!” They need to be able to know their rights and limitations as internet users. Your elders must not fall for messages that call for urgency through warnings or scares of their accounts being closed, “new relatives” who suddenly need financial help, and other such scams to con them out of their money. If your elderly loved one does not have the ability to distinguish between safe and appropriate internet activity, then it might be necessary to keep their internet usage under personal watch. Check last visited sites and social media accounts every now and then if you suspect something fishy is going on.

 

Check Online Purchases

 

The need for internet precaution and watchfulness increases if your elderly loved ones like to shop online or use their credit card for other online transactions. This includes the games that they could be playing, or attempts to pay bills through their computer. Buying online has been made as simple as a few clicks, so it is important to be sure that the purchases that are made and sites that are being visited are safe. In such cases, you can consider requiring your authorization for their purchases, depending on their needs.

 

Catfishing

 

Keeping your elderly loved ones safe online is essential. Though certain internet security steps are in place, many elderly are still falling prey to online predators known as “catfish scams.” These are people with fake online profiles that try to extort money from their victims. Although, it might feel intrusive to pry on your elderly loved one’s internet activity, it is a necessary evil in keeping them safe in the long run.

 

To maintain your security, visit the official guidelines here and keep up with the latest internet safety tips.