Our priorities and needs change as we age. HPSM wants you to have all the tools and resources you need to help you be healthy as you age. If you have a serious medical condition or need, discuss it with your doctor. Only you and your doctor can determine the best course of medical treatment that meets your needs. Review our Health Conditions section for information on topics that might be of interest to you.
If you were born between 1946 and 1964 in the United States, you're part of the Baby Boom Generation, born to parents who survived World War II and the Great Depression. Baby Boomers want an active life as they get older. If you were born before 1946, or outside the United States, you probably want an active life as well.
Being active as you get older may mean continuing to work longer or a finding a challenging hobby. It may mean an active physical life, with walking, hiking, swimming, Yoga, or Tai Chi. It may involve higher impact sports. Whatever your vision is, this group is enjoying life to the fullest in their "golden years."
Talk to your doctor and ensure that you are able to meet your goals. Your doctor can help you develop a plan to reach your goals. Your doctor can also tell you if a routine is too much for your body.
End of Life Care
You're getting older. While we all hope to live a long, healthy, happy, and energetic life—no one can predict the future. Be prepared. Talk with your family and loved ones about the end of life care you want when the time comes. Make sure your wishes are respected and honored.
Long-term care provides custodial and non-skilled care for normal daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, taking medications, and using the bathroom. For some, long-term care requires skilled medical practitioners. It can be done in the home, or at a facility. Both can be very expensive.
POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. It is a set of physician orders you want your doctor to follow when you can no longer speak for yourself. You fill this out with your doctor to ensure your medical wishes are met. After discussion with your doctor, you can state what level of care you want, from full support to do not resuscitate (no CPR).
An Advance Directive is a list of health care decisions you make for yourself while you are in good health, so that they can be followed in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself due to illness or health condition. You can also appoint a person to make such decisions on your behalf and state whether you want to receive CPR if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing.
Discuss these options with your doctor, and make sure your wishes are heard when you are no longer able to state them. Your doctor can help you fill out a form (POLST and Advance Directive). Then, keep one copy in your medical record and the original with you, to be followed when the time comes that you are at the end of your life.
POLST / Advanced Health Care Directive Form
Health and Fitness
There's a lot you can do as you age to help you stay fit and healthy. You don't have to join an expensive gym. You may want to join an exercise group, such as a mall walking group or other group of active aging adults. Or you can set your daily routine to have exercise be a part. Follow these simple tips on improving your health and fitness level:
- Get a checkup. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or changing your level of physical activity. Your doctor can give you valuable tips that are right for you.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Follow your doctor’s advice on the foods that are right for you. Your goal should be at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This helps fight cancer and heart disease.
- Exercise: Start slowly. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stretch like your friend who has done Yoga for 20 years. Start slowly, take it one step at a time, and slowly make your routine more challenging.
- Stick to it! If you're going to join a group activity, make sure it’s at a time and place that is convenient for you.
- Invite a friend. When you share your health and fitness goals with a friend or family member, you can help each other stay on track.
- Keep moving. If you can't do your regular activity, be sure to do little things instead: take the stairs instead of an elevator; stretch or flex your arms and legs when sitting; if you’re watching TV, march in place during commercials.