It is no surprise that as you age, certain aspects of your body and life will change. There are many ways in which aging can alter your habits and body. As such, it is important to be on top of all elements of your health and be ready and willing to adapt when you need to. Here are just a couple of things to consider as you age.

Teeth

Regularly visiting your dentist is very important in maintaining healthy teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. It is often easy to forget to look after these areas, but they are all very important.

Your teeth experience a lot of wear and tear throughout your life. Also, your adult teeth will not grow back if they are damaged or lost. Therefore, regular dental check-ups with your specialist, such as those at this Asheville dentist, will mean they can pick up on any new problems, any questions you may have, and recommend products and habits that will help you to keep your teeth healthier for longer. Furthermore, your dentist will also be able to treat and help you manage any existing dental problems.

Oral concerns

Common oral issues you may encounter include cavities, gum disease, bruxism, or staining. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, occurs when a bacterial infection causes inflammation around the gums at the base of the teeth. This is a very common problem that can occur at any age, and one of the most common causes is poor oral hygiene.

If left untreated, gum disease can result in tooth loss. It is very normal for your teeth to become discolored, and there are many habits, foods, and drinks that can cause this. Your dentist or hygienist can help remove or treat stains, but there are also many things that you can do to help. Smoking causes tooth staining, as the nicotine leaves deposits on the teeth.

Dental diet

When it comes to food and drink, the general rule is, if it can stain a table cloth, then it can stain your teeth. Foods and drinks such as red wine, tea, coffee, and vibrantly colored fruits can all cause tooth staining, but there are many precautions you can take to minimize their impact. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regularly visiting your dentist are some of the best ways to combat tooth discoloration, as well as many other dental issues.

Many dental issues can occur at any stage of life, but age can be a risk factor. This is why it is important to maintain good oral health throughout your life. Regularly brushing and flossing, frequent dental check-ups, and maintaining a balanced diet are all great ways to help prolong the health of your teeth, mouth, and gums. 

6 Things To Consider When Aging
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Eyes

You may notice changes to your eyesight as you age, so it is also important to regularly get them checked and tested. Eyes are very important and help you complete so many tasks, so keeping them healthy for as long as possible is vital.

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for your entire body, but there are a few foods you can eat that have great benefits for your eyes too. These include:

  • Fish such as salmon and tuna
  • Dairy products such as milk and yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Carrots
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
  • Water

Another important and beneficial action you can take to maintain the health of your eyes is to have regular check-ups, regardless of your age. In a similar way to a dentist, your eye doctor will be able to help manage pre-existing issues and pick up on any new ones early on, hopefully reducing their effect later on.

Eye protection

Protecting your eyes is also important, and you can do this in many ways. Wearing sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation is very important regardless of the weather. Protective eye gear such as safety goggles is designed to protect your eyes during certain construction work or sports activities. You should also give your eyes a rest from staring at screens.

It is recommended to do this every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It is also useful to understand your family history when it comes to vision and eye health, as this can help you understand whether you are at a higher risk of developing certain eye problems.

Aging eyes

One common eye problem in older individuals is cataracts. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded, and if untreated, it can cause severe vision problems. They can occur at any age but are most common in adults over 40 and in one or both eyes. Cataract surgery is an incredibly common procedure in which the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a new one. Other common eye problems include:

  • Glaucoma. This is when the optic nerve is damaged, usually as a result of increased pressure due to a build-up of fluid at the front of the eye.
  • Dry Eye. This can be caused by factors that lead to poor tear production or a lack of tear production, such as medication, age, or your environment.
  • Astigmatism. If there is an imperfection in the curvature of your eye, then your eye may not focus light evenly on your retina, causing blurred vision at any distance. This problem is very common and can be treated with contact lenses, glasses, or surgery.
  • Presbyopia. This is age-related farsightedness. As you age, you may find that objects at a close distance gradually become blurry. If you find yourself struggling to read words up close, suffering from headaches and eye strain, you may be developing presbyopia. It is very normal and can be treated with contact lenses, glasses, or surgery.

These are only a few of the eye problems you may encounter throughout your life, and it is important to regularly have your eyes checked in order to spot any new problems or manage existing ones. 

Senior Living

As you age, you may need assistance in completing certain daily tasks or prompting to remind you to do them. This is when senior living facilities may be appropriate for you. There are many options available, so you will be able to find a community that fits your needs, requirements, and levels of independence.

In general, a senior living facility is a community in which senior individuals live, with varying levels of support and care depending on their requirements. Common senior living community options include independent living, assisted living, respite care, and memory care. 

Your physician or adult care social worker will use various factors and assessments to work out the level of senior care you require. These can include your physical and mental health, as well as the ADLs and IADLs. There are a number of different daily self-care tasks that most people can perform independently and unprompted. These are called the Activities of Daily Living and are:

  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Moving
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Continence
Senior disablities

A further set of tasks called the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living can also help to spot disabilities that the ADLs may not, and they are:

  • Using the telephone
  • Driving/using public transport
  • Food preparation
  • Shopping
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundering clothes
  • Managing finances
  • Managing medication

Generally, the more support you need to complete these tasks, the higher the level of care you will need. This, in turn, will inform the type of senior living community that is best for you. As you age, it is very common to need assistance with these tasks, where senior living options can greatly benefit you and your loved ones.

There is usually a focus on independence, maintaining and increasing the quality of life, and maximizing the residents’ autonomy, dignity, and independence as much as possible. Depending on your needs and requirements, you will experience a high level of medical and personal care, as well as many engaging social events.

Skin

As you get older, your skin can also change, and there are many issues and problems that you may encounter. Taking good care of your skin comes in many forms and different steps, from regularly getting your skin checked by a specialist, to have a good skincare routine.

6 Things To Consider When Aging
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You may find that your skin is dry, which can be caused by a variety of factors, such as medication or environmental conditions. For example, if the air is dry, this can dehydrate your skin and leave it feeling tight and uncomfortable.

There are numerous creams and moisturizers you can use that will help with this, and you can also use a humidifier to put some moisture back into the air. It is also incredibly important to wear SPF all over your body every day to help protect it from sun damage, regardless of the weather.

As with many other parts of your body, such as your teeth and eyes, maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle can also make a huge impact. There are different kinds of food and drink that are great for your skin, such as water, tomatoes, almonds, and omega-3 rich fish like salmon.  

Mobility

Mobility can also become an issue as you get older, and there are plenty of mobility aids and solutions to help you. It is important to regularly visit your doctor, as they will be able to make recommendations, answer questions, identify issues, and help you manage ongoing problems.

Common mobility aims include rollators, scooters, walkers, and wheelchairs, and your doctor will be able to help you choose the right one. Mobility aids are incredibly useful. Their uses include helping you get around, supporting you and your stability, offering support if you suffer from issues such as arthritis, helping you recover from illness, surgery, or injury, and helping to give you your freedom. 

Career

If you are looking to change your career but feel it is too late, there have never been more options available to you. There are plenty of resources, courses, and training options available to people of all ages to help you move your career in a different direction or just allow you to explore an area you are interested in.

Online courses are a great way to boost your knowledge and add to your qualifications from the comfort of your own home. Many of the courses are designed for people who already have another job or other life commitments and are incredibly flexible. 

There are different types of courses, from short courses to full degrees. Each course has differing amounts of in-person teaching and distance learning. You will be able to find a course in a subject or area you are interested in and even connect with like-minded people in the meantime. An online course or degree can build upon skills you have already gained through previous qualifications or employment. It can often allow you to complete the course at an accelerated pace.

If you are looking to change careers or move into a slightly different role within your industry, then an online course could help you achieve this without having to put the rest of your life on hold. Online courses are also often more affordable than other learning styles and give you the ability to work and continue earning alongside your studies.

If you don’t want to access online courses or just want to expand your knowledge rather than focus on a career, taking up various hobbies can be very rewarding. You will be able to learn new skills at your own pace and maybe even meet people with similar interests.

There is a whole wealth of opportunities and resources available to help you follow your dreams and develop your passions and interests. There are many things to consider as you age, and these are only a few basic things to think about.

Consulting medical professionals, maintaining healthy habits, and a healthy diet are all important in keeping your body as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

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Guest Writer

This post has been curated by a Longevity Live editor for the website.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.