January 6, 2011
Lifestyle Changes, Health Screenings and Elderly Companionship Important Factors
Do today's seniors take better care of themselves than a decade ago? What are the indicators, and what can older adults today do to stay healthy and active?
Home Instead Senior Care® has found that reviews on this issue are mixed. Statistics show that more people now than ever schedule mammograms, colorectal screenings and cholesterol checks, which is good news. The number of people who smoke has dropped as well, which is another promising sign.
But with that said, more than one-third of US deaths remain preventable. Three behaviors—smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity—were the root causes of nearly 35 percent of US deaths in 2000. They are the behaviors that often underlie the development of the nation's leading chronic disease killers: heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.¹
Moreover, The National Report Card on Healthy Aging revealed room for improvement in the areas of oral health, obesity, flu and pneumonia vaccination; fruit and vegetable diets, and hip fracture.²
And in addition to the individual incentive we all have to stay healthy, from a national standpoint, there are economic incentives to do so, as well. The cost to provide health care for older Americans is three to five times greater than it is for someone who's younger than 65. By 2030, the study projects that the nation's health care spending will have increased by 25 percent.³
Proper diet and exercise are plainly two key players in keeping ill health at bay, as are not smoking and staying current with health screenings and vaccinations. But other research indicates that companionship is also a critical component to healthy aging. Having someone to talk to and socialize with makes for a happier and healthier person.
If the element of elderly companionship is missing from a senior's day-today life, consider contacting Home Instead Senior Care. Our specially trained home care CAREGiversSM are screened, bonded, insured and perfectly equipped to help keep seniors continue to live independently. They serve as trusted friends and as companions who can provide help around the house and motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
1. From The State of Aging and Health in America 2007, a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Merck Company Foundation.
2,3. From "The National Report Card on Healthy Aging," part of The State of Aging and Health in America 2007 study.
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