The Key to Living Well after 80

The Key to Living Well after 80

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living-longerIn 1950, someone could expect to live about 14 more years after retirement. Today, however, life expectancy has skyrocketed and most seniors expect to enjoy a number of quality decades after their retirement—or put off retirement altogether. 

These days, more than ever before, people are living well into their 90s and quite a few even make it to their centennial birthday!

Given that most Americans are living so much longer, there have been great strides made in improving the quality of senior living to help ensure that octogenerians (and nonagenerians and centenerians) are able to remain independent, keep mentally sharp and stay mobile.

But staying active well into your ninth decade of life does require some planning on your part.

Start Planning Early to Live Long

It is never too early to plan for a long and happy life. Invest in a solid retirement plan so you have enough money to live well in your golden years. Consider moving into a senior living community in Cincinnati while you are in your 60s so that you can take full advantage of the opportunities and amenities offered by your community—and not have to worry about the stresses of packing up your house after you turn 80.

If you’re determined to be one of the thousands of seniors who are aging in place, start making home improvements now that allow for greater independence as you grow older. Put handrails in the bathroom, for example, or replace ceramic kitchen floors with a less slippery material like natural stone.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle early and maintain it throughout your lifetime to ensure you are hale and hearty in your elder years. 

Manage Your Health and Your Healthcare

Take responsibility for your health and manage your healthcare closely throughout your life. Be vigilant about vaccines, controlling chronic conditions, good food choices and regular exercise.

Manage chronic conditions to the best of your ability. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of people over the age of 65 have at least one chronic health condition and about 50 percent of older people have at least two chronic conditions. Older adults with multiple chronic conditions say they have poorer health and more trouble functioning than those with just one long-term medical problem.

Name yourself as CEO of managing your own healthcare.

With all of the changes that the American health system has seen in the last few years, healthcare can be a difficult web to unravel— especially if you are under the care of more than one doctor. 

Secure copies of your own health records and give each physician a copy. Also, give each of your doctors an updated list of all your prescription and non-prescription drugs, including any vitamins or supplements you may be taking to reduce your risk for dangerous drug interactions.

Organize your medications. 

This can be tricky as nearly three-quarters of Americans over the age of 80 take at least 3 prescription medications and 84 percent take three or more over-the-counter medications or nutritional supplements. This means most people over 80 take six or more medications each day.

Keep up on your vaccinations and screenings. 

Only about one-quarter of the older American population are current on the recommended cancer screenings and immunizations.

Stay physically fit to retain muscle mass and to keep bones strong. 

Strong muscles reduce your risk for falling while strong bones prevent fractures if you do happen to fall. A strong body can also help you stand back up after a fall and reduce recovery time from injuries.

Develop strong relationships with your friends and family

Companionship makes living well after the age of 80 worthwhile. Cherish the time you have with your children and grandchildren, if you have them, and seek out new friendships and experiences. The key to living well after 80 is to make the most out of every moment of life. 

Senior living Cincinnati-style never looked so good after 80.

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Bryan Reynolds
August 02, 2014
Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

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