Did you know that 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day, for the next 19 years? One of the most important things you can do to prepare for this stage of life is to become more knowledgeable about Medicare. Get the information you need to make the right decision about coverage for yourself, or for your loved ones.
When More Care Is Needed
Medicare A New Age
10,000 people age into Medicare in the United States every day. Watch a short film about aging in America and the impact on our health care system. Hear stories from real people about their experiences as they navigate this stage of life.
Healthy eating and regular physical activity are keys to good health at any age. To maintain a healthy weight, eat a well-balanced diet. Choose a variety of nutrient-rich foods from each of the four food groups, and be sure to get enough calcium and fiber. Calcium will help keep your bones strong and fiber promotes healthy digestion. Try these tips for healthy eating:
- Don't skip meals this could slow your metabolism or lead you to eat more at your next meal
- Choose high-fiber foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans and whole-grain breads and cereals
- Have three servings of milk, yogurt or cheese each day to help keep your bones strong
- Enjoy lean cuts of beef, turkey, fish or chicken to lower the amount of fat and calories
- Drink plenty of water
Daily physical activity can help you maintain your healthy weight, and may improve your strength, endurance and flexibility. Being active also may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If you have not been active, check with your health care provider first about ways to safely increase your physical activity. Whatever you choose, make sure it's an activity you enjoy.
Making decisions about medical care is not easy, even when we are healthy. But at some point, you may become unable to make your own health care decisions. That's why it's important to think and talk about your wishes and beliefs with your loved ones long before critical decisions must be made. Advanced care planning is an important step to take, and can provide you with the opportunity to express your medical, personal, emotional, social and spiritual wishes and, it conveys those wishes to family, friends and doctors. It's never too early to have these important conversations, and to document your wishes.
When More Care Is Needed
As a friend or family member, it is important to recognize when a loved one might need extra help. Does your parent seem more forgetful lately? Are you worried about whether he is taking his medication? Has she had a fall at home? If you see changes in your loved one's behavior or routine, or things just don't seem right, follow your instincts and look for these warning signs.
As our population ages, providing care for older loved ones will become the responsibility of many families. This can be a very stressful time for both of you when a parent or loved one begins to show signs that they are unable to live independently. For the person who needs care, it may be hard to ask for help. They may be worried about losing their independence and relying on others. Family members may be uncomfortable talking about their concerns, especially if they are unsure about how much care is needed. Caregivers can find helpful information in our Caregiver Support section.