Today’s aging population is facing many challenges, from loneliness and isolation to access to the right care and treatments.
Kensington Place Redwood City’s Medical Director and Internal Medicine Physician at Stanford Healthcare, Dr. Mehrdad Ayati, will address these challenges and offer thoughtful tips and takeaways for better aging.
What are some of the challenges faced in today’s aging population?
According to the World Health Organization, while some of the influences on a senior’s health are genetic, most others are a result of environmental factors.
These factors can influence our lifestyle choices and behaviors, including the ways we eat, exercise, or even use tobacco products.
Aging populations are able to more easily thrive in environments that are supportive, safe, and accessible.
Some of the challenges older adults face include:
- Loneliness and isolation
- Financial struggles
- Access to the right care and health services
- Difficulty with mobility and everyday activities
These challenges can be a barrier to healthy aging, because seniors lack access to the resources and support they need to maintain a high quality of life.
Dr. Mehrdad Ayati is a geriatrician from Stanford University, and the medical director here at Kensington Place Redwood City.
He will be offering the entire Kensington Senior Living community access to his expertise, as well as the most important takeaways community caregivers and seniors can use to age in a healthier way.
What is the importance of preventative healthcare vs. the diagnostic system?
What does it mean to receive preventative care rather than diagnostic care?
Preventative care involves maintaining your existing health through regular checkups, while diagnostic care is meant to diagnose symptoms you are experiencing.
Preventative care is essential to a person’s long-term health and wellbeing.
Through regular doctor’s visits and preventative testing such as blood work, colonoscopies, or mammograms, doctors can potentially catch issues before you experience symptoms or they develop into something more difficult to treat.
Diagnostic care, on the other hand, occurs when a person visits a doctor after they are experiencing pain or other unpleasant symptoms.
Waiting to visit the doctor until you are already experiencing symptoms may result in more expensive treatments and more advanced medical issues.
For example, if you schedule regular colonoscopies as directed by your doctor, they may find a small polyp in your colon that can easily be removed during the procedure. If you don’t get regular colonoscopies, the polyp could eventually develop into colon cancer.
While this may seem like an extreme example, it highlights how a simple preventative procedure can effectively take care of an issue that could become much more serious later.
Dr. Mehrdad Ayati will explain the importance of preventative healthcare vs. the diagnostic system with the Kensington Place Redwood City community.
Common myths of aging
Many health issues or diseases that are considered “normal signs of aging” actually are not. Dr. Mehrdad Ayati will explore some of these myths during the event.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths of aging:
- It’s normal to feel depressed, anxious, or isolated
- People require less sleep when they’re older
- It’s difficult for adults to learn new things
- Dementia is a normal part of aging
- Exercise is dangerous for older adults
- It’s too hard for older adults to quit an unhealthy habit
Despite these myths, older adults should not have to feel anxious or depressed, dementia is not a normal part of aging, and exercise and good sleep are very important to our health as we age.
In the next section, we’ll dig into the truth with our tips for healthy aging.
What are some of the best tips for healthy aging?
The best tips for health aging can be stripped down to the basics of good health, including eating nutritious foods, performing regular exercise, and taking part in social activities.
Take a look at the following tips for healthy aging that the Kensington Place Redwood City community includes in our services and activities for residents.
Eat a nutritious diet
Many experts point to the MIND diet as an ideal diet for healthy aging.
The MIND diet combines the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, and includes brain-healthy food groups such as whole grains, vegetables, nuts, beans, berries, and fish.
The Kensington Place Redwood City dining team offers fresh, nutritious dishes to our residents and their families, and is able to accommodate special dietary needs and preferences.
Get regular exercise
In a study of adults aged 40 and older, those who took 8,000 or more steps per day were associated with a 51% lower risk of death from all causes compared to those who took 4,000 steps per day.
Exercise can help older adults stay strong and retain muscle function.
Participate in social activities
Senior loneliness and isolation can present serious risks to a senior’s health and overall wellbeing.
In our community, we promote regular social activity through a packed calendar of life enrichment activities, including small-group pocket programming.
Visit the doctor for regular check-ups
Regular check-ups fall under preventative care, allowing senior loved ones to access care before their needs become urgent.
Kensington Place offers numerous on-site services to make preventative care as accessible as possible, including on-site nurses, an on-site physician’s office, and a specialized memory care team.
Assist your loved one in making regular appointments to stay on top of their health needs.
Drop unhealthy habits
Unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can create major health issues as we age.
It’s never too late to quit these habits and begin implementing healthier lifestyle changes into our routine.
If your loved one is struggling with substance abuse, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional for support.
Get enough rest
Adults still require at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but many seniors are not getting this amount.
Implementing a more regular sleep schedule, reducing stress, and increasing physical and social activities all can contribute to better sleep cycles.
In our memory care “neighborhoods,” Kensington Place Redwood City encourages restful sleep with soothing, cozy living spaces and days that are filled with activity.
Kensington Place Redwood City, your partner in caregiver support and resources
At Kensington Place Redwood City, our mission to improve and preserve the quality of life for every resident is a collaborative effort.
We have built strong relationships with expert professionals who keep us current with the latest advances in care, management, and treatment of conditions that affect seniors and their families.
The Kensington Place Promise
Our unique Promise is to love and care for our residents as we do our own family, and this Promise extends to those closest to our residents as well.
Our loving team understands how memory loss impacts the lives of all those affected, which is why our memory care program considers the degree of memory loss, the comfort and safety of the individual, and all the ways we can enhance their quality of life.
Transitioning to an assisted living community is a significant life event. Our team will be with you every step of the way to ensure the smoothest transition possible.