The Biggest Health Mistakes Seniors Make

As we age, our health risks increase. After all, none of us is going to live forever.

We all can improve the chances of a longer, more healthful life by just avoiding these deadly health mistakes that people tend to make after age 50, according to Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “7 Fatal Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50.”

  1. Failing to stay social. Research shows that isolation may double a person’s risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Social isolation is also linked to increased risks of depression, cognitive decline, obesity and a weakened immune system. Keep those connections with friends and family as you move through your golden years.
  2. Continuing to eat high-sodium foods. Roughly 90% of the sodium we consume comes from salt. In addition, 90% of Americans consume too much sodium. Reduce your sodium intake, and your blood pressure should fall within a couple of weeks, helping to lower your risk of deadly heart disease and stroke.
  3. Postponing colorectal cancer screening. All adults 50 to 75 should have a colorectal cancer screening. This test can find precancerous polyps, which are the main source of colorectal cancer. Screening also can find the disease itself in its early stages, when it is most treatable.
  4. Not taking a daily aspirin. Not everyone over 50 should take an aspirin every day. However, it may be good for those with certain potentially life-threatening health conditions. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends daily aspirin therapy if you’re age 50 to 59 and not at increased bleeding risk, and you have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke of 10% or greater over the next decade. However, their new recommendations suggest there is no net benefit to starting an aspirin regimen at age 60 or older.
  5. Avoiding the weight room. As we get older, the risk of the bone disease osteoporosis increases. Women are especially at risk for osteoporosis. In fact, one in two women will break a bone due to osteoporosis — which occurs more often in women than a heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. The key to preventing osteoporosis is getting enough calcium and vitamin D, along with weight-bearing exercise.
  6. Avoiding water intake. Children and seniors are most at risk for the most devastating consequences of dehydration. Older adults carry a lower volume of water in their bodies. They’re also more likely to take medications that boost the risk of dehydration. Their sense of thirst is also less acute, making it easy for them to forget the need to drink.
  7. Smoking cigarettes. Kicking the nicotine habit pays off at any age so quit now. The improvements can be nearly immediate: your heart rate and blood pressure drop 20 minutes after quitting. Carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal a few days after quitting, and circulation and lung function improve shortly after quitting.

Just remember to talk to your doctor before undertaking these practices.

Reference: Money Talks News (May 19, 2022) “7 Fatal Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50”

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