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How do I prevent or delay the need for long-term care?

By adopting a healthy lifestyle, your risk of disease in older age declines dramatically. Small changes in your daily lifestyle can improve how you feel and delay the need long-term care.

What can I do to stay healthy?

Here is a checklist that outlines what you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle that could help you delay the need for long-term care.

Regular physical activity

Regular physical activity helps to control weight and contributes to healthy bones, muscles and joints. Exercise can reduce falls and help to relieve the pain of arthritis.

Physical activity reduces symptoms of depression and stress, improves the brain and can even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Regular mental activity

Simple and fun activities such as:

  • reading
  • playing cards and board games
  • doing crossword puzzles
  • adopting a new hobby
  • attending a class

are great ways to keep you mentally healthy and exercised. They are also quality ways to spend time with your family and friends.

Nutrition

Eating well is especially important as you age. Good nutrition reduces your chances of developing chronic diseases. As you age, you may need to adjust your diet and nutritional needs.

Other ways to stay healthy

  • Avoid falling: Falls are one of the most common causes of the need for long-term care.  Find more information on the Minnesota Falls Prevention website.
  • Avoid isolation: Get together with friends or family, participate in community events, join social or religious organizations, volunteer, continue to work or return to work part-time.
  • Manage medications: Managing your medications safely keeps you aware of what you are taking and possible drug interactions. Make a list of all your medications, when you take them, the condition for which you take them and have regular medication check-ups with your doctor.
  • Not smoking: Reducing or quitting smoking is an important part of your plan to stay healthy. Smoking is one of the largest contributors to the development of chronic disease and is a major factor in high health care costs.

Find resources to stay healthy

Next: Financial planning


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