While we’re young, most of us can get away with cheating on our diet or skipping a day of exercise here and there. As we get older, however, maintaining a high quality of health isn’t as easy as it was in our youth. Getting on top of your health and understanding the potential issues you may face as you age is key to leading a better quality of life later on, but where do you get started? The next time you see your primary care physician, use this list of questions to ask a doctor about as you age to better prepare for the future.
What are some common health problems that seniors face?
Understanding some common health problems that seniors face as they age can be a great way to start working towards better overall health. While discussing some potential health issues with your doctor, you’ll discover that some of the most common heath concerns facing seniors include:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia
- Neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease
Although not all of these will apply to your own situation, preparing for the future and understanding what can be done to avoid these elements can go a long way in keeping you safe and healthy.
What can I do to protect my health as I age?
Preventative measures are often the most effective way to combat potential health problems. Ask your doctor what you should be doing as you age in order to reduce the risk for some of the problems described above. Your doctor may give you a list of things to do, like recommending hobbies that boost your intelligence, so you can increase neuroplasticity and boost brain function (puzzles like crossword puzzles and riddles, video games designed for brain health, board games, etc.), exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, finding social activities that support your mental health, and getting plenty of sleep.
Of course, taking care of existing conditions is important as well. For example, let’s imagine that you’re currently dealing with hearing loss. The best way to treat hearing loss is to seek out hearing aids that make it easier to drown out background noise and other distractions to hear those around you. The good news is that, if you’re in need of hearing devices, there’s no shortage of different types of hearing aids that’ll benefit you. Brands like Starkey and Lyric and Blue Angels Hearing produce a host of products that sit comfortably on the outer ear and fit snugly in the ear canal (different options include completely-in-canal or CIC, invisible-in-the-canal or ITC, behind-the-ear or BTE, and receiver-in-canal or RIC) to ensure that you can hear in quiet rooms as well as in noisy environments.
Even better, these new hearing aids come with special features that go beyond helping you retain normal hearing. Some benefits include Bluetooth connectivity and microphones to help you listen to music and answer phone calls on your cell phone, directional microphones to help you hear more around you as you go about your everyday life, and speech enhancement that helps you hear your own voice and improve your communication. Some even have the ability to recharge batteries, so you never have to worry about running out of battery life in your electronic device when it matters most as well as the ability to control your hearing aids and preferences from your smartphone, just to name a few benefits.
If you want to stay protected as you move forward, ask your doctor what you can do now to improve your health in the future.
What am I at risk for?
Some health problems are hereditary, which means that you can be at greater risk of inheriting them as you grow older. Take some time to do some digging into your family’s health history, and ask your doctor what it might mean for you. Catching these problems early on may prevent you from having to deal with more severe symptoms of the disease or disorder down the road.
Our quality of life or health is not guaranteed, but with the right questions, preparation can mean the difference between poor health and vitality. Next time you schedule an appointment with your doctor, use the questions above to receive greater insight into what may await you as you age and how you can better navigate your golden years.