Aging Well: Geriatricians Unveil 7 Key Signs for a Happy and Healthy Senior Life


In a recent exploration of healthy aging, Dr. Parul Goyal, a geriatrician at Vanderbilt Health, sheds light on the multifaceted approach needed for healthy senior life. Published on Dec. 14, 2023, these insights go beyond traditional advice, emphasizing physical well-being, emotional connection, and mental support as the pillars for a fulfilling life in later years.

Key Signs for a Healthy Senior Life

Learning Keeps the Mind Agile

With older adults often distanced from traditional learning environments, the article encourages seeking opportunities for mental engagement. Engaging in activities like board games, sports, learning new languages, or playing musical instruments forms new pathways in the brain, promoting cognitive strength.

A study in JAMA Network Open supports this, revealing that regular brain-stimulating activities reduce the risk of dementia by up to 11%.

Speak Up About Needs

The stigma of burden often prevents seniors from expressing their needs. Experts like Robyn Golden of Rush University Medical Center stress the importance of open communication. Addressing feelings of loneliness, anxiety, or depression is crucial for maintaining mental health. Depression is treatable at any age, and fostering a culture where individuals feel comfortable expressing their needs is essential for healthy aging.

Community Engagement for Cognitive Health

Socializing is highlighted as a key factor in combating loneliness, a significant public health issue declared by US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in May 2023.

Engaging with others through various means, such as in-person or phone interactions, joining clubs, participating in team sports, and volunteering, contributes to cognitive strength. A study in Nature Aging found that greater social participation is associated with a 30 to 50% lower risk of dementia.

Physical Well-being Remains Crucial

Exercise and a healthy diet are emphasized as fundamental, even in old age. Dr. Lee Lindquist, chief of geriatrics at Northwestern Medicine, encourages regular physical activity to maintain mobility. A balanced diet, aligning with the Mediterranean and DASH diets, fuels the aging body effectively.

Pursue Enjoyable Activities

Senior years should not limit individuals from doing what they love. Whether it’s traveling, learning new recipes, hiking, or playing games, enjoying life is key to a fulfilling existence. Chronic illnesses can be managed, allowing individuals to continue pursuing their passions.

Medication Review for Optimal Health

Reviewing medications becomes increasingly important with age. Dr. Lindquist emphasizes the need to reassess prescriptions, considering changes in the body over time. “Polypharmacy,” or taking multiple drugs and supplements, can lead to adverse interactions. A report from the University of California, San Francisco, highlights the risk, revealing that over 58% of seniors with possible dementia took six or more medications.

Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Future

Planning for the future is crucial, not just for end-of-life scenarios but for the decades leading up to potential health challenges. Dr. Lindquist advocates for open discussions with family and friends about preferences during hospitalization, incapacity, or memory loss. Planning ensures that individuals have a say in their care, easing decision-making for loved ones.

In summary, the article encourages a holistic approach to aging well, combining mental, emotional, and physical well-being. These key factors aim to guide individuals towards a happier, healthier, and more rewarding senior life.

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Stress Can Lead to Cortisol Belly: Here’s How to Fix It

Stress can affect our lives in many ways, from our mental health to our relationships, but it can also lead to physical symptoms such as ‘cortisol belly’. Cortisol belly, named after the stress hormone, has been widely discussed on social platforms such as TikTok, with users and experts explaining how it occurs, and theorizing what could be done about it.

While you may not have heard of the term ‘cortisol belly’ before, you might have heard of stubborn belly fat or stress belly, which are essentially the same thing. This is because it refers to the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue around the stomach, which has been linked to prolonged exposure to elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

What Is Cortisol Belly?

According to dietitian

Up Next

Sleep Apnea Linked to Air Pollution, Suggests New Study

A new study published in the journal NeuroToxicology suggests that air pollution could add to the risk and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

The study, led by Bijaya Kumar Padhi from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, claims that although there is no conclusive evidence, there are several plausible pathways to link the two.

For example, the Neuro Toxicology study says, that exposure to persistently high levels of air pollution can cause systemic inflammation or inflammation throughout the body,

Up Next

Aster DM Healthcare Identifies Top Foods to Combat PCOS Symptoms

Google searches related to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) reached an all-time high in April 2024 globally, indicating a growing concern and interest in understanding and managing this condition.

PCOS is a widespread hormonal disorder that mainly affects women between the ages of 12 and 51, leading to symptoms such as weight gain, insulin resistance, and hormonal imbalances. Fortunately, dietary modifications can significantly mitigate these symptoms and enhance overall well-being.

With this in mind, Global Healthcare Innovator Aster DM Healthcare has put together a list of the top foods to combat PCOS symptoms.

Top Foods to Combat PCOS Symptoms

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Up Next

Having Trouble Sleeping? Stop Eating This Food Right Now

When creating an ideal sleeping environment, you might think of lighting, temperature, and sound — but what about food? What you eat during the day can have a surprising impact on how well you sleep at night, according to experts.

“Food choice is an essential consideration for ensuring good sleep quality. Some types of food promote sleep while others may cause sleep disruption,” Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, head sleep expert at Wesper, a sleep analysis company in New York, told Fox News Digital.

Signs that Food is Interfering with Sleep

If after eating you’re struggling to fall asleep, waking up often during the night or experiencing heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion, your food choices could be the culprit, according to Dr. Raj Dasgupta, chief medical adviser at Sleepopolis in California.

Up Next

Exercise Cuts Heart Disease Risk by Lowering Stress, Study Finds

New research indicates that physical activity lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, in part by reducing stress-related signaling in the brain. The study, led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that people with stress-related conditions such as depression experienced the most cardiovascular benefits from physical activity.

To assess the mechanisms underlying the psychological and cardiovascular disease benefits of physical activity, Ahmed Tawakol, an investigator and cardiologist in the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues analyzed medical records and other information of 50,359 participants from the Mass General Brigham Biobank who completed a physical activity survey.

A subset of 774 participants also underw

Up Next

El Paso Experts Offer Help for Managing Work-Related Stress

Work-related stress can have significant impacts on moods, workplace productivity, and mental health. Finding ways to manage stress and find peace can be a challenge, but El Paso experts are offering help.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), stress can impact physical and mental health challenges. OSHA statistics reveal that “83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress and 54% of workers report that work stress affects their home life.” The agency further claims that workplace stress has reportedly been cited in 120,000 deaths in the US each year.

Loneliness, isolation, job security, fears of retaliation, and changing schedules can all impact employee mental health, according to federal experts. “Because of the many potential stressors workers may be experiencing, a comprehensive approach is needed to address stresso

Up Next

Intergenerational Stress Waves: Can Stress Affect Unborn Children? Experts Weigh In

Neha Cadabam, senior psychologist, and executive director at Cadabams Hospitals, explained to that the transmission of stress can occur through biological, psychological, and social channels, affecting not just the individuals directly exposed to stressors but also their descendants.

Neurologist and content creator Dr. John Strugar highlighted, “Stress can have a significant impact on the amygdala, which is a key part of the brain involved in processing emotions, particularly fear and stress responses.”

He further explained that a mother’s stress during pregnancy can influence the developing brain of her baby. This impact stems from elevated levels of stress hormones, like glucocorticoids, which can alter the structure and function of certain brain regions, such as the amygdala.