As women age, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize their health and well-being. For women over the age of 65, this is especially true, as they face unique challenges and health concerns. However, with good strategies and habits, it is possible to maintain optimal health and vitality well into one's golden years. In honor of Women's Health Month, we will explore various ways women over 65 can stay healthy and thrive.
Main Health Concerns for Women over 65
Women over 65 tend to have similar health concerns that should be monitored by a medical professional.
- Depression and Anxiety
- Brain Health
- Heart Health
- Bone Health
These areas of concern could cause physical and mental decline if not addressed promptly, which is why doctors recommend screenings between one and five years apart. Health screenings are an essential part of maintaining good health.
Health screenings are imperative for catching any illnesses or diseases early so medical professionals can treat and hopefully cure these ailments. Many overlook health screenings because they may be uncomfortable or too busy to attend another appointment. Cancer screenings, in particular, are intimidating. People tend to avoid them, but they are helpful in detecting cancer early on and before it progresses.
Healthy women ages 65 and above should receive yearly exams for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, depression, osteoporosis, postmenopausal health, and, if sexually active, STDs. Other regular screenings such as Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and vision can be completed every one to two years if the patient doesn’t have a history of health concerns.
Developing Neurological Diseases
The risk of neurological diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s is much more prominent in women. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, this is due to women’s increased life expectancy, as age is one of the most common risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Though, researchers are currently questioning whether the risk factors could be due to biological or genetic variations.
Not only are women almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but almost half of all caregivers providing care for older adults are providing care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Approximately 81% of caregivers are women. According to an article from the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Women’s Center, in heterosexual relationships where both the man and the woman work full-time jobs, women spend approximately 40% more time as a caregiver to their families than their male counterparts. Staggering statistics such as these are the perfect example of why women should practice self-care.
The topic of self-care has been trending more and more over the past few years. The global pandemic forced many people to care for themselves physically and mentally to maintain good health and create a balanced lifestyle. Those not used to caring for themselves can take a few small steps toward embracing self-care.
- Spend a few hours a week on activities you find enjoyable.
- Share your feelings with a trusted loved one or, therapist or find a support group.
- Be kind to yourself, don’t focus on the negative, and allow yourself forgiveness.
- Do not overload yourself with tasks. Be realistic when creating a to-do list.
- Listen to your favorite music, an audiobook, or a guided meditation to clear your mind.
- Take a yoga class with friends to improve mindfulness.
- Take time for your own needs and pay attention to feelings of depression or anxiety.
- Get plenty of sleep. Try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day.
Some of these items may seem trivial or obvious, but many people skip doing things they enjoy to complete the next task on their to-do lists. Practice putting personal and societal pressures to remain productive in the back of your mind. Your health is always more important.
Maintaining Good Health in Aging
Maintaining good health in aging begins by adopting a healthier lifestyle. This lifestyle should include things like:
- Maintaining a healthy diet.
- Exercising regularly.
- Getting flu shots and vaccinations yearly.
- Being proactive to reduce the risk of falling.
- Maintaining a social lifestyle.
These healthy habits could also reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Once women adopt this healthier lifestyle and practice self-care regularly, they should feel happier and more energetic, and they may have fewer ailments.
How Senior Living Communities Can Help
Senior Living communities can offer a supportive environment with services and programs to enhance the quality of life. From a robust calendar of activities and events that stimulate the mind and body, to culinary experiences that provide nourishment and opportunities for social engagement.
Clearwater Living embraces a lifestyle philosophy that offers a holistic approach to wellness. Their Empowered Living program incorporates the six dimensions of successful aging to promote emotional and physical health, encourage social connection, and provide a sense of purpose and meaning.
Clearwater Living’s specialized programming, such as onsite therapy, offers preventative support, such as balance classes or strength-based exercises tailored to individual needs. They also support the resident’s families through support groups and other excellent resources.
Contact us to learn more or schedule an exclusive tour of a community near you.