Nine Ways Seniors Can Stay Healthy on a Budget

Written by Joe Fleming

For senior citizens living on a fixed income it’s easy to feel you don’t have the funds necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Who has time to think healthy when you may be struggling just to make ends meet? Sadly this time in life is when you can really benefit from focusing on a healthy diet and lifestyle. The good news is it’s totally possible to prioritize health without putting a massive dent in your bank account.

Read on for ten simple tips seniors can apply today to stay healthy on a budget.

  1. Look for Senior Discounts

If you hate paying full price for things, remember that there are numerous perks for seniors to take advantage of.

Many grocery stores offer a senior discount or loyalty program, as do lots of gyms and rec centers. Some businesses will also let you take advantage of a veterans discount, too, which can result in even more savings!

  1. Clip Coupons

Speaking of coupons, be sure to scour your weekly paper for the latest grocery store ads. Pay attention to which items are on sale and plan your shopping trips around them.

In addition to looking for printed coupons, you should also look online for other offers. Many stores post additional deals on their websites, and there are lots of third-party companies that also share coupons online.

  1. Shop Store Brands

Remember that store brands are almost always cheaper than name brand items, even though they contain the same ingredients and taste identical. Shop store brands whenever possible, unless you have a coupon that will make a name brand item cheaper

  1. Create (and Stick to) a Meal Plan

One of the best things you can do to save money on healthy food is to create a meal plan for the week and stick to it. Decide which meals you’re going to cook and plan ahead for any trips you might be taking to restaurants.

Once you have a meal plan in mind, you can prepare your food ahead of time. That way, all you have to do when you’re hungry is heat it up.

If the idea of preparing food for the whole week seems daunting, consider preparing enough for just 2-3 days instead — or, ask a family member or friend to help you.

You don’t have to get fancy with your meal plan, either — often, the healthiest and tastiest meals are also the simplest ones.

  1. Keep Healthy Convenience Foods on Hand

Make it easy for yourself to choose healthy foods by making sure they’re the only ones available.

Instead of stocking your pantry with chips and cookies, buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are washed and ready-to-eat. Other easy and healthy snacks to keep on hand include:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Sliced deli turkey or ham
  • Beef jerky sticks
  • Dried fruit (just make sure there’s no sugar added)
  1. Eat Whole Foods as Much as Possible

It’s easy to let marketing get the better of you at the grocery store.

There are tons of items with eye-catching labels that claim to be healthy — think low-fat cookies, low-calorie ice cream, pre-packaged protein bars, etc.

These items might seem healthy, but they’re usually filled with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. And, they’re much more expensive than whole, natural foods like fruit, vegetables, and meat.

  1. Exercise at Home

If you can’t find a senior discount for a gym near you, don’t take that a sign from the universe that you shouldn’t be exercising. There are plenty of ways to workout for free from the comfort of your own home.

Start by simply going for a walk every day. Even spending just 15-20 minutes outside each day is a great way to improve your health, especially if you’re not used to working out at all.

  1. Take Advantage of Community Events

Check the schedule for your local senior center to see if they offer free social events. From fitness classes to cooking demonstrations, these events are a great way to socialize and learn healthy habits without spending money.

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

When it comes to trying to stay healthy on a budget, there’s nothing more affordable than making sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Sleep is essential for keeping your immune system functioning properly, maintaining energy, and staying mentally alert. Shoot for 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night.

Is It Ever Too Late for Plastic Surgery?

Written by Sally Perkins

If you want to look younger during your golden years, you may want to do what 68-year old Maria Vargas did, and this is signing up for cosmetic surgery. Maria told a Washington Post reporter that she missed being alluring to the opposite sex, as she had been when she was younger. She made the decision to get a neck lift, with a mind to feeling better about herself. She was thrilled with the results. These days, plastic surgery among older adults in a hot trend. So, it may not ever be too late for plastic surgery.

Seniors are Getting More Plastic Surgery

Men and women aged sixty-five or older are now choosing cosmetic eyelid procedures and face lifts in ever-greater numbers. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that the demand for these procedures by senior citizens has doubled over the past twenty years. Most of the patients who pay for these elective procedures are sixty-five to seventy-five years old. Seventy-five percent are getting their very first cosmetic procedure.

What Are the Pros and Cons?

Plastic surgery has the power to change the way that seniors feel about themselves, for the better. In this sense, it may be very empowering. However, it’s still surgery. Surgery always comes with risks. In terms of pros, plastic surgery may create a more youthful look or change the look of body parts that patients aren’t happy with. In terms of cons, a plastic surgery procedure may not turn out the way that a patient hoped it would.. Another drawback to be aware of is the risk of complications, such as infection or bleeding.

What About the Cost?

Well, to give you a sense of what you’ll need to spend on the most popular plastic surgery procedures for seniors, let’s look at median average prices of cosmetic eyelid procedures and face lifts. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website, getting your eyelids done will set you back $3,026, while a face lift will typically cost $7.448. These prices don’t include the cost of operating room facilities, anesthesia and related expenses.

How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

If you want to improve your appearance, you should choose your cosmetic surgeon with care. While some seniors are opting for lower-priced plastic surgery abroad (this is known as medical tourism), it’s smarter to pay a bit more for a board-certified plastic surgeon in your home country. Medical tourism adds to the risks of plastic surgery.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, patients who do go for plastic surgery in other nations often find communication to be difficult. Problems with communication may heighten the risk of misunderstandings which may negatively impact quality of care. Also, medications may not be genuine, or they may be of inferior quality. Another issue is that resistant bacteria is more prevalent in countries outside of America. Lastly, taking a flight after a procedure may boost the chance of blood clots.

When seeking out a plastic surgeon, look for the right credentials and a strong reputation. A Self.com article advises seekers of cosmetic surgery to check out online reviews of plastic surgeons in their regions. It’s also vital to inquire as to whether a plastic surgeon has an affiliation with a local hospital. Dr. Anthony Youn says that hospital privileges are imperative. Cosmetic surgeons who don’t have them should be avoided.

Are You a Good Candidate for Plastic Surgery?

Good candidates for plastic surgery (at any age over 18) should have expectations which are reasonable. They should also be aware of the risks of the procedures that they want to get. According to the WebMD website, cosmetic surgery may not be right for you if you suffer from hypertension, heart disease, depression or diabetes. As well, if you smoke, overdo it with alcohol or are obese, plastic surgery may not be a good fit.

Is Plastic Surgery Safe for Seniors?

The good news is that a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery report determined that seniors aren’t at greater risk than younger patients. Researchers found that there was no real difference in frequency of major or minor complications between older adults and younger ones. Recovery times will vary based on procedure, patient medical history and other variables. Patients of all ages will need some time to recover, unless they choose non-invasive plastic surgery procedures, such as Botox or fillers. Results from invasive plastic surgery last longer than results from invasive cosmetic surgery.

An eyelid lift (upper blepharoplasty) is usually permanent, so you’ll only need one of these plastic surgery procedures. Results from a full face lift will generally last for at least five years. Now that you know the facts, you’ll be able to decide if it’s too late for plastic surgery. For many American seniors, the golden years are prime time for cosmetic procedures which boost self-esteem.

Three “Silent Killer” Diseases Seniors Should Be Aware Of

Written by Joe Fleming

Many seniors want to take care of their health and prolong their lifespans. But, they don’t always know what signs and symptoms they should be looking out for.

There are a number of totally preventable diseases that seniors suffer from without even knowing it. When these diseases go untreated for too long, they become difficult to manage and can lead to serious disabilities and even death. Because of this, these diseases are often referred to as “silent killers.”

Read on to learn more about three of the most common “silent killer” diseases and the symptoms that seniors (and caregivers) should be aware of.

  1. Hypertension

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the most well-known “silent killer” diseases out there. Approximately 75 million adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, and the likelihood of developing it increases as you age.

Elevated blood pressure is a precursor to hypertension, but, other than that, the disease usually does not come with any symptoms. The only way to know if you’re affected is to test your blood pressure regularly.

A blood pressure monitor — also known as a sphygmomanometer — is a great tool to have on hand. Check your blood pressure regularly and keep an eye out for a reading that is greater than 140/90 mmHg. If this reading consistently comes up, talk to your doctor about ways that you can lower your blood pressure.

It’s also important to cut back on behaviors and limit situations that increase your risk of developing hypertension, including the following:

  • Stress/anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Using birth control pills
  • Frequently consuming painkillers
  1. Diabetes

Approximately 371 million people all over the world have diabetes. But, according to the International Diabetes Federation, half of them don’t know it.

This lack of knowledge is what has branded diabetes as a “silent killer” — it’s no wonder health experts are calling diabetes one of the world’s fastest-growing health issues.

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst and hunger
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Sores and cuts that are slow-to-heal

Some people are genetically predisposed to diabetes, but lifestyle factors like obesity, a lack of exercise, and a poor diet also contribute. A poor diet is especially problematic, as it can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes that occurs when the body is no longer able to use insulin to remove sugar from the bloodstream.

Seniors, especially those who are overweight or obese, should be on the lookout for signs of diabetes. They should also have their blood sugar checked regularly.

  1. Coronary Artery Disease

Also known as CAD, coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. CAD occurs when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries and prevents blood from efficiently flowing through them. Over time, this plaque buildup can weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart failure.

Like hypertension, coronary artery disease usually does not come with any obvious symptoms. Some people experience chest pain or shortness of breath as a result of CAD, but many people don’t know they have the disease until after they’ve had a heart attack.

To avoid finding yourself in this position, it’s important to have regular check-ups from your doctor. This is especially true if you have a history of CAD in your family. Other people who face a great risk of developing CAD include:

  • Those who are overweight or obese
  • Those who eat a poor diet
  • Those who smoke
  • Those who a sedentary

To minimize your risk of developing CAD, you should focus on cleaning up your diet, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly. Your doctor may also prescribe medications that reduce your CAD risk.

Conclusion

People of all ages should be on the lookout for signs of and risk factors that contribute to these three “silent killer” diseases.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to these diseases, and they are more likely to have a difficult time managing their condition. Because of this, they should keep this information in mind and be extra vigilant about maintaining their health and minimizing disease risk factors.