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AGING WELL: Top 10 Do's & Don'ts

No known substance can extend life, but we can improve our chances of staying healthy and living a long time. 

First, what NOT to do: Here are ten common health care mistakes seniors make, according to the Institute for Health Care Advancement:

1. Driving when it is no longer safe
2. Fighting the aging process and its appearance
3. Reluctance to discuss intimate health problems with your health care provider
4. Not understanding what the doctor says about the problem or treatment plan
5. Disregarding the serious potential of a fall
6. Not having a system for managing medications
7. Not having a single primary care physician
8. Not seeking medication attention when warning signs occur
9. Not participating in prevention programs
10. Not asking loved ones for help

For more detail on each of these, visit  and read "Ten Most Common Health Care Mistakes Made by Seniors" in the Health Section.

The news isn't all bad, though. The National Institute on Aging offers its own Top 10 Tips for healthy aging. We have reproduced this list below, and referenced some recent ElderWise Info articles covering related topics.

Top Ten Tips for Healthy Aging

1. Eat a balanced diet, including five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  
    (V2.5 Challenges to Healthy Eating)

2. Exercise regularly. 
   (V2.23 Osteoporosis and Bone Health, V3.4  Exercise for Healthy Hearts)

3. Get regular health check-ups. 
    (V2.9 Why Geriatrics and Gerontology Matter)

4. Don't smoke (it's never too late to quit).

5. Practice safety habits at home to prevent falls and fractures.
   (V3.3 Safety on the Stairs)  Always wear your seatbelt in a car. 

6. Keep up contact with family and friends.
   Stay active through work, play, and community.
    (V2.12 Seniors Who Volunteer)

7. Avoid overexposure to the sun and the cold.  (V3.14 Heat Stroke)

8. If you drink, moderation is the key. When you drink, let someone else drive.
    (V3.2 Are you a Safe Driver?)

9. Keep personal and financial records in order to simplify budgeting and investing.
    Plan long-term housing and money needs. 
    (V2.20, Long Term Care Planning and V2.21 Long Term Care Terminology)

10. Keep a positive attitude toward life. Do things that make you happy. 
     (V2.6 Recording a Life Story, V2.14 A Tribute to Hazel)

Both these lists are great "between the generations" conversation-starters, whether you are in mid-life or a senior. See the related ElderWise Infos for resources and suggestions to bring enhanced health and greater longevity into your life. Click on for a complete list.

Vol.3, No.16

� ElderWise Inc. 2007.
You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Publishing, a division of ElderWise Inc. We provide clear, concise and practical direction to Canadians with aging parents. Visit us at and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter

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