Prepare for health changes in your 70s

As we age, the body undergoes various changes which can have a negative impact on our everyday lives.

Many of us begin to experience physical changes, emotional changes, and social change in our 70s. These can be difficult to cope with.

Understanding what to expect will help us manage and prepare for these changes.

Physical Changes

Mobility, balance and health are affected by the various physical changes that we undergo.

These are some of your physical changes that you will experience as you age:

  • Reduced muscle mass. Muscle mass can decrease, resulting in weakened muscles and reduced mobility. Strength training and regular exercise can help maintain muscle strength and mass.
  • Reduced bone density: The bones become less dense and this can increase the risk for fractures and osteoporosis. Maintaining bone density can be achieved by a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin D and calcium, as well as regular weight-bearing exercises.
  • Changes in hearing and vision: Many people over 70 experience changes in hearing and vision, including decreased acuity and sensitivity. Regular eye and hearing exams can detect and manage changes in vision and/or hearing.
  • Balance problems: People in their 70s can experience balance issues that increase the risk of falling and injury. Regular exercise, which includes coordination and balance training, can improve balance and reduce the chance of falling.
  • Risk of chronic diseases: Chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and hypertension are more common. A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, and the avoidance of smoking and excessive alcohol can help prevent or manage chronic conditions.

Emotional Changes

Many people who are in their 70s also experience emotional changes which can impact their mental health.

  • Stress and anxiety can increase when life changes occur, such as retirement, illness, or the loss of a loved one. You can manage these feelings by seeking support from friends, family or mental health professionals.
  • Changes in moods: People in their 70s may experience mood changes, including increased irritability or sadness. Exercise, socialization and engaging in hobbies you enjoy will help boost your mood.
  • Cognitive changes: Our cognitive abilities may decline as we age. This can lead to memory loss, difficulties with decision-making and other cognitive impairments. Reading, solving puzzles or learning new skills can all help maintain cognitive function.

Social Changes

The majority of people experience changes in their social environment. They may also see a change in their relationships or their level community involvement.

  • Changes in social role: The loss of a friend or partner can cause a change in your social role. This can be difficult to manage. Find new hobbies and activities, or connect with new people to help you adjust to the changes.
  • Some people may feel more isolated as they age due to mobility problems, physical limitations or transportation issues. Joining social groups or staying in touch with friends and family via video or phone calls can reduce loneliness.
  • People in their 70s might experience changes in how they provide care to others. The elderly may be required to care for a sick spouse or relative. Maybe they are no longer required by their spouse or children. You can manage your caregiving duties by seeking support from local resources such as caregiver support group or respite services.

Self-Care in Your 70s

It is important to take care of your emotional, physical and social wellbeing in your 70s. Here are a few self-care tips to consider:

  • Be physically active. Exercise regularly can improve your balance and help you maintain muscle mass.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, can help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Be socially active: Connecting to family, friends and community groups helps reduce mental illness and isolation.
  • Ask for support: Do not be afraid to seek help. Support from friends, family or healthcare professionals will help you manage emotional and physical challenges.
  • Manage Stress: Practice stress-reducing exercises such as yoga or deep breathing.
  • Keep your mind stimulated. Engaging mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzles or reading, can help maintain cognitive function.
  • Schedule regular checkups. By scheduling regular checkups, you can detect and manage physical or mental issues.

In general, taking care yourself in your 70s involves a holistic approach, which considers your emotional, physical, and social wellbeing.

Understanding the changes that you may encounter and implementing self care practices will help you live a fulfilling and healthy life well into your 70s.

You can never be too old to take care of yourself. Even small changes in your lifestyle can have a significant impact on your health and overall well-being.