Protect Your Health As You Grow Older

The Basics
Staying active and eating healthy foods can help you live longer and better.

Take Action!
Find a friend or neighbor to go on walks with you a few times a week.

Start Today: Small Steps

The Basics

You can take steps to stay healthy and independent as you get older. It’s important to:

Remember, it’s never too late to make healthy changes in your life.

Learn more about staying healthy as you get older.

Take Action!

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These steps can help you live a healthier life.

Keep your body active.

Staying active as you get older is one of the best things you can do for your health. Regular physical activity can help you:

Keep in mind that if you haven’t been active in the past, it’s not too late to start! You may need to start slowly and build up over time.

Do aerobic activity.

Anything that gets your heart beating faster counts as aerobic activity.

Get more ideas for aerobic activities you can try.

Do strength, balance, and stretching activities.

Including a variety of activities in your routine can make it easier to do everyday activities. That's why it's important to:

If you have a health condition, talk with your doctor about the best activities for you.

Get ideas for eating healthy.

Eating healthy is always important, no matter how old you are. And it’s never too late to make healthy changes to your diet. Learn about healthy eating patterns.

Try these tips:

Get more tips and ideas for eating healthy as you get older.

Play an active role in your health care.

Your doctor or nurse can help you stay healthy as you get older.

If you have Medicare, be sure to schedule your Medicare wellness visit every year.

If you smoke, quit.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free help with quitting. 

If you have a history of heavy smoking and you smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, ask your doctor about screening for lung cancer.

Take steps to prevent falls.

Older adults are at higher risk for serious injuries from falls. Take steps to lower your risk of falling:

Make sure you have smoke alarms in your home.

Older adults are more likely to be injured or killed in home fires. To stay safe, put smoke alarms on every floor of your home.

Use long-life smoke alarms if possible. These alarms use lithium batteries and last longer than regular smoke alarms. They also have a “hush button” so you can stop them quickly if there’s a false alarm.

If you use regular smoke alarms, replace the batteries every year. Try changing smoke alarm batteries when you change your clock back from daylight saving time in the fall.

Follow these other tips for using smoke alarms:

Get more fire safety tips [PDF - 3 MB].

Take steps to stay safe while driving.

Getting older doesn’t make you a bad driver. But changes that come with aging can make it harder for you to drive safely. You may have trouble seeing at night or find it harder to react quickly to avoid an accident.

Take steps to stay safe:

Read more about how to stay safe behind the wheel.

Keep your memory sharp.

Just like physical activity is good for your body, activities that challenge your mind can help prevent memory loss and keep your brain healthy.

As you get older, it's important to:

If you're forgetting things more often than usual and it’s getting in the way of doing everyday activities, talk with your doctor or nurse.  Learn more about memory problems.

Get support if you're a caregiver.

A caregiver is someone who helps a family member, friend, or neighbor who is sick or has a disability.

Caregiving can be stressful. It's important to get support if you're a caregiver – and be sure to make time to care for yourself, too.

Start Today: Small Steps

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