September is Healthy Aging Month. What do you associate with healthy aging?
Healthy Aging Month is an annual observance raising national awareness around the health and well-being of older adults. Its goal is the prevention of age-related health problems, promotion of the positive aspects of aging well, and supporting lifestyle changes that promote a healthy, active mind and body into end-of-life.
Why is healthy aging so important?
Common risks for older adults include Alzheimer’s and dementia, diabetes and other chronic diseases, and fall-related injuries. Many of these conditions can be prevented, slowed, or managed with proactive lifestyle choices.
As we wrap up healthy aging month, here are some tips to take with you for healthy aging all year round.
Age well: 3 ways to support healthy aging
Stay active to stay active
When I was a child, I was afraid of growing elderly. I believed that older adults were always limited physically and rarely able to enjoy physical activity. Thank goodness I was so wrong!
What is true, though, is the principle of “use it or lose it.” Physical activity is essential for healthy aging. I like to think of it as the “stay active to stay active” principle. CDC outlines recommendations for adults over 65:
- 150+ minutes per week of moderate activity or 75+ minutes per week of vigorous activity
- At least 2 days per week that include muscle-strengthening activity
- Roughly 3 days per week that include balance-strengthening activity
Falls are a leading cause of serious injury for older adults. Working on your balance and muscle tone regularly can help keep you steady on your feet and out enjoying the activities you love with less risk.
You can also learn more about osteoporosis prevention and treatment in our 3-part series:
Take advantage of medication support
Often, even in excellent health, aging means more medications. One of the best proactive steps for healthy aging is to participate in a medication support program.
What is medication support?
In a medication support program, pharmacists work with patients and providers to make a medication plan that’s optimized for the patient’s needs, and efficient for the patient’s lifestyle.
Sona Pharmacy’s Medication Support Program has four distinct functions:
- Gather: Our access team gathers all your medication information in one place
- Review: Our pharmacists review your medications and work with providers to make sure you’re getting the best possible care
- Organize: Our team organizes your medications in your preferred method, making it easy to receive and take your prescriptions consistently
- Manage: Our team builds an ongoing relationship with you through monthly check-ins and medication updates to make sure you’re doing well and facilitate changes in prescriptions as needed
Interested? You can access our online enrollment form here.
3. Build and maintain healthy relationships
According to a study published in Preventive Medicine Reports in 2018, higher social integration in midlife promotes healthy aging. While this study looked only at healthy women (beginning in 1976 and concluding in 2012), the results may suggest relationships play a large role in aging well for both men and women.
What does “healthy aging” really mean?
World Health Organization (WHO) defines healthy aging as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.
In the study referenced here, women considered health agers were those free of 11 chronic diseases, with no reported memory impairment, no physical disabilities, and intact mental health.
Women who were socially integrated had nearly 50% higher odds of healthy aging than those who weren’t. More specifically, women with more social integration tended to drink less in old age, were less likely to be smokers, were more likely to be retired, and more likely to be proactive about their health.
Dozens of studies have shown healthy interpersonal relationships boost lifespan, improve immunity, reduce depression and increase satisfaction, and protect memory.
Turns out, filling your life with relationships that make you happier will also make you healthier!
We’re here for you
The Sona philosophy is all about building relationships and sharing knowledge to help you live the life you love. If you have any questions about our Medication Support Program or would like to talk with our team, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.