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MALTATODAY 23 October 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 23 OCTOBER 2022 8 ELDERLY CARE IN 2020, baby boomers, those 65+, accounted for 13% of the European Union's population. This age group grew at a faster rate than the population under age 45, and it's clear that the EU is an aging population. Happily, aging is different now than it was for our parents and grandparents. Today, there are more people living longer than at any other time in history. In fact, boom- ers will number 78 million by 2030. "This generation, associated with social change including the civil rights and anti-war movements in the 1960s, has another important cause "stay- ing healthy," says soon-to-be 65-year-old Arthur Hayward, MD, a geriatrician and clinical lead physician for Kaiser Per- manente. "We need to become activists in promoting healthful behav- iors and try our best to remain active and healthy the rest of our lives." How to do it? Dr. Hayward recommends these 10 easy health tips for seniors to help baby boomers live longer and thrive: Quit smoking Take this critical step to im- prove your health and combat aging. Smoking kills by causing cancer, strokes and heart fail- ure. Smoking leads to erectile dysfunction in men due to ath- erosclerosis and to excessive wrinkling by attacking skin elasticity. Many resources are available to help you quit. Keep active Do something to keep fit each dayâ€"something you enjoy that maintains strength, bal- ance and flexibility and pro- motes cardiovascular health. Physical activity helps you stay at a healthy weight, prevent or control illness, sleep better, re- duce stress, avoid falls and look and feel better, too. Eat well Combined with physical ac- tivity, eating nutritious foods in the right amounts can help keep you healthy. Many illness- es, such as heart disease, obe- sity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and ex- ercise. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help women prevent osteoporosis. Maintain a healthy weight Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Use the Kaiser Permanente BMI (body mass index) calculator to find out what you should weigh for your height. Get to your healthy weight and stay there by eating right and keeping active. Replace sugary drinks with waterâ€"water is calorie free! Prevent falls We become vulnerable to falls as we age. Prevent falls and in- jury by removing loose carpet or throw rugs. Keep paths clear of electrical cords and clutter, and use night-lights in hallways and bathrooms. Did you know that people who walk barefoot fall more frequently? Wear shoes with good support to re- duce the risk of falling. Stay up-to-date on immunisa- tions and other health screen- ings By age 50, women should be- gin mammography screening for breast cancer. Men can be checked for prostate cancer. Many preventive screenings are available. Those who are new to Medicare are entitled to a "Welcome to Medicare" visit and all Medicare members to an annual wellness visit. Use these visits to discuss which preventative screenings and vaccinations are due. Prevent skin cancer As we age, our skin grows thinner; it becomes drier and less elastic. Wrinkles appear, and cuts and bruises take longer to heal. Be sure to pro- tect your skin from the sun. Too much sun and ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer. Get regular dental, vision and hearing checkups Your teeth and gums will last a lifetime if you care for them properly that means daily brushing and flossing and get- ting regular dental checkups. By age 50, most people notice changes to their vision, includ- ing a gradual decline in the ability to see small print or fo- cus on close objects. Common eye problems that can impair vision include cat- aracts and glaucoma. Hearing loss occurs commonly with ag- ing, often due to exposure to loud noise. Manage stress Try exercise or relaxation techniquesâ€"perhaps medita- tion or yoga as a means of cop- ing. Make time for friends and social contacts and fun. Suc- cessful coping can affect our health and how we feel. Learn the role of positive thinking. Do not shun intimacy When it comes to sexual in- timacy and aging, age is no reason to limit your sexual en- joyment. Learn about physical changes that come with aging and get suggestions to help you adjust to them, if necessary. From baby boomers to senior boomers: 10 tips to keep you healthy and fit

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