Top Tips for Ageing Better

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Age UK’s top ten tips for ageing better are not just about living longer. It’s all about living healthily and happily for longer.

Eating and drinking

Having a balanced diet  can help keep you healthy, give you more energy and prevent illness.

A healthy diet for older adults should be low in saturated fat and contain fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, oily fish and small amounts of low fat dairy and lean meat.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids – water, tea, coffee and fruit juice are fine but try to avoid sugary fizzy drinks.

If you drink alcohol, keep at least two days a week alcohol free and don’t exceed daily limits.

Look after your teeth

It is important to brush your teeth twice a day and to floss daily. Flossing prevents a build up of food and plaque and prevents gum disease. 

If plaque builds up you may experience sore or bleeding gums – gum disease can also be linked to diabetes, strokes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Have regular dental check ups and if you wear dentures or have a bridge, ask your dentist to check that they fit correctly.

Stay Active

Daily exercise can help you stay strong and healthy. It can also boost your emotional wellbeing, improve your sleeping patterns and increase your energy levels,

Government guidelines recommend that older adults complete two and a half hours of moderate activity per week plus strengthening exercises twice a week.

Visit your doctor

It’s a good idea to have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. High readings can increase your risk factor for stroke and heart disease but can be treated with medication.

It is also a good idea to ask about a seasonal flu jab. Its free once you reach 65 or if you have a health condition that puts you at risk of more serious problems if you caught the flu.

Age UK have further information about other important health tests that could save your life – you can read about them here.

Vitamin supplements

Many people have a vitamin D deficiency and are not aware of it. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cognitive impairment, bone problems and cardiovascular disease.

Age UK suggest that you should try to get outside in the sunshine for at least 15-20 minutes a day for a vitamin D boost.

Vitamin D can also be found in food such as eggs and oily fish. You could also speak to your doctor about vitamin D supplements.

Look after your feet

Try to keep your feet moisturised and cut your toenails straight across. Make sure you have footwear that fits properly and supports your feet.

Contact your doctor if your feet become painful, feel very hot or cold or if you have corns, bunions or ingrown toenails.

You can read more about foot care for older people here .

Sleep

It can be difficult getting to sleep or staying  asleep as you get older. Age UK have produced a guide to getting a good night’s sleep, you can read about it here.

Hearing and Sight Tests

Hearing loss is common in older people, so it is important to have regular hearing tests. You can speak to your GP if you have concerns about your hearing. If you need a hearing aid, some are available on the NHS. You could also contact your local hearing loss charity for support.

You should have your eyes checked every year if you are over 70 and every two years if you are under 70. This is important so that changes in your vision can be detected. Eye sight tests are free if you are over 60.

Stay in touch

Spending time with other people can stop you feeling lonely or anxious. You can read more about overcoming loneliness in our blog – Overcoming Senior Loneliness.

Give up smoking

Smoking is bad for your body and your brain.

It is linked to a range of health problems including heart disease, lung cancer and bronchitis.

Whatever age you stop smoking, your circulation, lung capacity and energy levels will improve.

Age UK have more information about stopping smoking in later life, you can read about it here.

 

Some information in this blog is taken from Age UK

 

 

 

 

The Silver Line

silver line

Did you know that The Silver Line, founded by Dame Esther Rantzen, is the only national, free and confidential helpline dedicated to older people which is open every day and night of the year?

The Silver Line can:

Offer information, friendship and advice

Link callers to local groups and services

Offer regular friendship calls

Protect & support older people who are experiencing neglect and abuse

 

You can contact The Silver Line by telephone

0800 4 70 80 90

Or via their website

https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/contact-us/

No Cold Callers and Doorstep Crime Information Pack

No Cold Callers

Did you know that a Doorstep Crime Information Pack and ‘No Cold Callers’ door sticker has been produced to protect people in Cornwall from criminals that may knock on their door?

The pack has been produced by ‘Devon and Cornwall Doorstep Crime Reduction Partnership’ – a partnership between Devon and Cornwall Police and the local Trading Standards Services.

The leaflet offers advice on how to deal with cold callers, tips on how to keep safe and contact details of organisations that can help.

Free packs are available from Libraries, One Stop Shops or from your local Police Station.

You can also download the information from Cornwall Council’s website.

 

Lions Club Message in a Bottle

msg in a bottleDid you know that the Lions Club Message in a Bottle is a simple but effective way of keeping your personal and medical information to hand, so it can be used in an emergency? Most people keep the bottle in their fridge, where it can be found easily.

The bottles are supplied free of charge along with a sticker which can be displayed on the front door. This alerts police, paramedics, firefighters or social services to the first place to look for your information in an emergency.

Bottles are available at Health Centres, Hospitals, Doctors Surgeries and Chemists. They can also be obtained directly from Lions Clubs.

To find your nearest Lions Club:

Telephone: 0845 833 9502

Website: lionsclubs.org

 

Top Tips for Overcoming Senior Loneliness

Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation – and it can have a serious effect on health. But there are ways to overcome loneliness, even if you live alone and find it hard to get out! 

Meet new people in an everyday situation
Grab every chance to smile at others or begin a conversation – for instance, with the cashier at Tesco or the person next to you in the GP office. If you’re  not sure what to say, try asking people about themselves.

Invite friends, family & neighbours for tea
Sometimes it’s tempting to think nobody wants to visit you. But often friends, family and neighbours will really appreciate receiving an invitation to come and spend some time with you!

Keep in touch by phone
Having a chat with a friend or relative over the phone can be the next best thing to being with them. Or you can call The Silver Line, a helpline for older people, on 0800 470 8090.

You can also call Independent Age on 0800 319 6789, Age UK on 0800 169 2081, or Friends of the Elderly on 020 7730 8263 to receive a weekly or fortnightly friendship call from a volunteer who enjoys talking to older people.

Technology is a wonderful thing
If your friends and family live far away, a good way to stay in touch, especially with grandchildren, is by using a computer, smart phone or tablet.

You can share emails and photos with family and friends, have free video chats using services such as Skype  and make new online “friends” or reconnect with old friends on social media sites such as Facebook.

A tablet computer can be especially useful if you can’t get around very easily, as you can sit with it on your knee or close to hand and the screen is clear and bright. A sponge-tip stylus pen or speech recognition may help if the touchscreen is difficult for arthritic hands or fingers with poor circulation.

Get involved in local community activities
These will vary according to where you live, but the chances are you’ll have access to a singing or walking group, book clubs, bridge, bingo, quiz nights and faith groups.

Fill your diary
It can help you feel less lonely if you plan the week ahead and put things in your diary to look forward to each day, such as a walk in the park, going to a local coffee shop, library, sports centre, cinema or museum.

Get out and about
Don’t wait for people to come and see you – travel to visit them.

One advantage of being older is that public transport is better value. Local bus travel is free for older people across England. The age at which you can apply for your free bus pass depends on when you were born and where you live. Contact your local authority for more information on how to apply.

Use this State Pension calculator to find out the exact date when you can apply for your free bus pass.

For longer distances, train and coach travel can be cheap, too, especially if you book in advance online and use a Senior Railcard.

The Royal Voluntary Service can put you in touch with volunteers who provide free transport for older people with mobility issues or who live in rural areas with limited public transport.

Help others
Use the knowledge and experience you’ve gained over a lifetime to give something back to your community. You’ll get lots back in return, such as new skills and confidence – and, hopefully, some new friends, too.

There are endless volunteering opportunities that relish the qualities and skills of older people, such as patience, experience and calmness. Examples are Home-StartSure Start, helping in a local charity shop or hospital, Citizens Advice, and school reading programmes.

 

Some information in this blog is taken from NHS