Resources and Ideas for Healthy Aging
- If you are 65 years of age or older and would like information about the Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education (SAGE) program, please review the Senior Volunteer Information page.
- Interested in helping with geriatric education by volunteering for the SAGE program? Please fill out this Volunteer Application form and mail to:
The Reynolds GET-IT Program
3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research at the UNT Health Science Center
James L. West Alzheimer Center in Fort Worth, TX
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a federal agency whose goal is to increase awareness about issues related to the health of older adults, had published several ideas agreed upon by experts to promoting greater health as we age. A partial list of their recommendations is cited below and full details may be found on the AHRQ website.
- Be tobacco free. For tips on how to quit, go to: www.smokefree.gov
- Be physically active. If you are not already physically active, start small and work up to 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, and bicycling are just a few examples of moderate physical activity.
- Eat a healthy diet. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Balance the calories you take in from food and drink with the calories you burn off by your activities. Check with your doctor if you start to gain or lose weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Have no more than two drinks a day if you are 65 or younger. If you are older than 65, have no more than one drink a day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
- Aspirin. Ask your doctor about taking aspirin to prevent heart disease.
- Immunizations. You need a flu shot every year. You can prevent other serious diseases, such as pneumonia, whooping cough, and shingles, by being vaccinated. Talk with your doctor or nurse about the vaccines or immunizations you need and when to get them.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker, talk with your doctor about being screened.
- Colorectal Cancer. Have a test for colorectal cancer. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you.
- Depression. Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt "down", sad, or hopeless over the last 2 weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about being screened for depression.
- Diabetes. Have a blood test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure.
- High Blood Pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
- High Cholesterol. Have your cholesterol checked regularly.
- Obesity. Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.) You can find your own BMI with the BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections. Talk to your doctor about being tested for sexually transmitted infections.
- Breast Cancer. Women should have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years.
- Cervical Cancer. Have a Pap smear every 1 to 3 years if you have ever been sexually active. If you are older than 65 and recent Pap smears before you turned 65 were normal, you do not need a Pap smear.
- Osteoporosis (Bone Thinning). Have a bone density test at age 65 to screen for osteoporosis. If you are younger than 65, talk to your doctor about whether you should be tested. You may need to have this test again after 2 or more years.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV. Talk to your doctor about being tested for sexually transmitted infections and HIV if you have concerns in this area.
This page last updated Jun 22, 2011