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Senior Health: Ways to Prevent Chronic Illnesses

WellAge_September 1 Blog

The National Council on Aging reports that “approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two.”

To Live Well and Age Well, it is important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that can help in the prevention of chronic illnesses. Senior health is about more than managing symptoms; it is about making healthy choices to promote overall health and wellness. This is something that WellAge Senior Living, with communities throughout Colorado, takes seriously. We provide an environment that supports the well-being of individuals and offers them an active, healthy lifestyle.

Being proactive about preventing chronic disease is the first step. To guide you on your health and wellness journey, WellAge Senior Living has gathered a list of lifestyle habits that you can implement into your life to prevent the development of certain chronic illnesses.

3 Tiers of Prevention 

The prevention of chronic disease can be broken down into three tiers. Though it is best to be proactive and make healthy lifestyle changes before any sign of chronic illness, you are still able to prevent the worsening of the disease through the later tiers of prevention.

Primary Prevention

Primary prevention is taking action and making healthy choices before a condition develops.

Secondary Prevention

In cases when a chronic condition has already developed or is in its early stages, secondary prevention is about making lifestyle changes that reduce the effects of the disease and prevent it from worsening.

Tertiary Prevention

Tertiary prevention is about lessening the impact that a chronic disease has on your life. The disease has already developed. Your job now is to make choices in your life that will decrease the chances of the condition progressing, subsequently causing additional ailments.

Ways to Prevent Chronic Disease

Consume Healthy, Nutrient-Dense Foods

A balanced and nutritious diet goes a long way in keeping you healthy, but it is also an essential step in preventing chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.”

Participate in Regular Physical Activity

Regular exercise builds muscle, burns excess fat, and increases blood flow throughout your body, contributing to your overall health and fitness. When you participate in regular physical activity, you help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and dementia.

Manage Blood Pressure

Sara Berg, a senior news writer for the American Medical Association, writes, “high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.” High blood pressure negatively affects an individual’s heart and blood vessels, leading to a number of complications. Managing your blood pressure is an essential part of preventing heart attacks, strokes, and other chronic diseases.

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Control Cholesterol Levels

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high cholesterol. Too much cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.” The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is to get your levels checked, so talk to your doctor about managing your cholesterol and what you can do to lower your risk of developing a chronic illness. 

Quit Smoking

Smoking causes a myriad of health issues, but did you know that, by smoking, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of developing a chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease? To improve your overall health and to prevent the development of a chronic illness, quit smoking.

Get Screened

As previously mentioned, you may have high cholesterol without knowing. The same is true for high blood pressure. These risk factors make it vital to regularly visit your doctor for preventative screenings so you can adjust your health plan before a chronic condition develops.

Even if a chronic disease has already impacted you, visiting your healthcare provider will help to catch the illness in its early stages, allowing you to take action to prevent it from worsening.

Senior health and wellness are important to us at WellAge Senior Living. Our personalized care plans are created to provide care that is tailored to each individual’s needs and aims to improve their overall well-being. Contact our WellAge team to learn more about the services we offer or our communities located throughout Colorado.