Aging well doesn’t mean simply living longer-it means staying healthy and active so that you can continue doing what you love for as long as possible. Now, a growing body of research suggests that the key to healthy aging is in our hands, and tells us that it’s never too late to make the vital lifestyle changes that will help ensure a longer, more vibrant life.
To help older adults and their loved ones discover what they need to do to live well for as long as possible, the American Geriatrics Society’s (AGS’) Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA) has published an easy to understand health “tip sheet”– “Ten Top Tips for Aging Well.”
“Adopting healthy lifestyle practices, even when you’re older, can have an enormous impact on how well you’ll age,” says Cheryl Phillips, MD, AGSF. “Maintaining these practices is essential for living a higher quality, more independent life.”
The FHA tip sheet for healthy aging includes these three key strategies
Eat a colorful, nutrient rich diet;
exercise safely to stay physically strong and mentally alert;
and keep your mind sharp with games and activities. The tip sheet also offers advice on how to get the most from your visits to healthcare professionals, including must-have vaccines, reviewing all medications and supplements with your doctor to guard against complications, and discussing any feelings of sadness, loss of appetite, or anxiety. Knowing how to enjoy safe sex, how much alcohol is safe to drink, and how much shut eye you need every night, is also addressed in the tip sheet.
In 1999, the American Geriatrics Society reached beyond its traditional role as a professional medical society and launched the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA). The FHA aims to build a bridge between geriatrics health care professionals and the public, and advocate on behalf of older adults and their special needs: wellness and preventive care, self-responsibility and independence, and connections to family and community. The FHA champions initiatives in public education, clinical research, and public policy that advance the principles and practice of geriatrics medicine; educate policy makers and the public on the health care needs and concerns of older adults; support aging research that reduces disability and frailty, and improves quality of life and health outcomes; encourage older adults to be effective advocates for their own health care; and help family members and caregivers take better care of their older loved ones and themselves.
ABOUT THE AGS
Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society ( www.americangeriatrics.org ) is a non-profit organization of more than 6,400 healthcare professionals whose shared mission is to improve the health, independence and quality of life of older people. Our vision for the future is that all older adults will have access to quality healthcare that meets their unique needs. To achieve this, the Society focuses on: advancing eldercare research; enhancing clinical practice in eldercare; raising public awareness of the healthcare needs of older people; and advocating for public policy that ensures older adults access to quality, appropriate, cost-effective care. The Society is a pivotal force in shaping practices, policies and perspectives in the field.