It’s not possible to stop the aging process, but you might be able to slow the process and make your Golden Years as wonderful as possible. What to expect as you age: what’s normal vs what’s not is something that many of the older adults who reside in one of our Baldwin House Senior Living communities have asked us. You’re not alone if you wonder whether you can slow the aging process.
There’s no way to stop the physical changes that are part of aging, but you can take steps to minimize the effects of aging. You can take steps today to remain active and engaged as you age. Aging doesn’t have to lead to pain and physical and mental deterioration.
The more you know about the aging process and the better care you take of yourself, the happier you will be in your senior years.
What To Expect As You Age: What’s Normal vs What’s Not
Chances are, as you’ve aged, you have noticed some physical changes, and those could include:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sore or aching joints
- Gray hair
- Difficulty hearing
- The occasional bout of forgetfulness
Many of the items listed above are a natural part of the aging process, but you may notice that people your age seem to be aging more rapidly or there are some who look younger than their years. Why is that? Medical professionals know it could be part of your genetic makeup or simply the way in which you lived your life. For example, people who spend a lot of time in the sun without sunscreen are more apt to have skin that looks “leathery” compared to someone who avoided the sun or was vigilant with sunscreen. Physical activity can also help you as you age. If you were physically active when you were younger, that might be a habit you carry with you as you get older, and that is an ideal way to age “better.”
Remember, though, if you have mobility issues or a pain that won’t go away, that could be a normal part of aging, but then again, it may be something you need to talk with your doctor about. For example, you could have knee pain and think it’s a normal part of growing old, but your other knee is pain-free, there’s a chance the pain in your other knee isn’t age-related.
Bottom line: if you notice a sudden onset of pain or another health symptom or type of pain you can’t explain, don’t assume it’s because of your age; call your doctor.
Here are some effects of aging to be aware of, if you’re not already. Remember, though, you are an active participant in how you age and there’s no time like the present to get more active, more mentally stimulated and less isolated.
- Changes to your skin. Dry skin, wrinkles, sagging skin, discoloration and others are signs of aging.
- Changes to your hair, such as baldness and gray hair.
- Hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness estimates that “one-third of seniors between the ages of 65 and 75 experience some hearing loss, and almost half of the people over 75 do.”
- Your teeth and gums. Gum disease, dry mouth, tooth sensitivity or tooth decay can lead to physical problems if you’re struggling to eat.
- Your body strength. Older adults may notice that even if they’re not gaining weight, their body doesn’t look the same as it used to. You may not feel as “firm”, or you may develop a paunch. Some of these changes are inevitable no matter what you do, but remaining physically active can prevent a whole host of future issues. Read: How exercise benefits older adults.
Residents at many of our senior living communities have access to activities including exercise geared for older adults and socialization times to help keep them active and involved.
You may not be able to stop the aging process, but you can certainly take steps to age gracefully and enjoy your life as an active participant.
Visit a Baldwin House Senior Living community near you. Baldwin House Senior Living is built upon the strong foundation of guiding families and empowering seniors.
Baldwin House combines care with compassion and dignity. We offer families peace of mind and give seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives. Call us today to schedule a visit. We’d love to meet you or your loved one!