Medically Reviewed by Jenna J. MacLennan, MD
Age is an intriguing aspect of life. As we “mature,” we gain life experience and wisdom. But as we grow “old,” we face a number of factors that are not necessarily positive.
“Even worse for women because females are more likely than men to have chronic or continuing health conditions, such as osteoporosis, serious incontinence, high blood pressure and arthritis,” says McLeod OB/GYN Dr. Jenna MacLennan. “Women are also more likely than men to suffer multiple conditions at the same time. So, it’s important that older women do everything they can to stay healthy longer.”
10 THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Take your medications and any vitamins or supplements as directed. Make sure your OB/GYN has a complete list of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you take regularly, along with vitamins and supplements. Either take them with you or take a picture of each bottle with your phone to show your OB/GYN on your next visit.
- Have your hearing and vision tested once a year.
- Have the following vaccinations:
- Flu shot every year.
- Shingles vaccine once after age 60.
- Tetanus booster every 10 years.
- 2-shot pneumonia vaccination– (PCV) 13 and (PPSV) 23. Your OB/GYN can advise you when to take these.
- Control your weight. As we age, our metabolism slows and most people gain some weight. Overweight women tend to develop sleep issues, diabetes, and heart and brain problems. Underweight women are prone to osteoporosis and depression.
- Eat Right. For recommendations for older adults, click here.
- Quit smoking & drink alcohol moderately. Older women should limit their drinking to 3 drinks a day or 7 total in a week. You may need to eliminate alcoholic drinks completely if you are on certain medications.
- Exercise Regularly. Check with your OB/GYN before you start any exercise program.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
For starters, see your OB/GYN regularly. They screen you for a list of health issues, such as:
- Blood Pressure
- Bone Health
Find an OB/GYN near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, Kaiser Family Foundation, American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation, USDA, Department of Health & Human Services (Office of Women’s Health), National Library of Medicine