85 Ways to Age Well

85 Ways to Age Well

Tips from the multidisciplinary team at HammondCare’s Centre for Positive Ageing as we celebrate 85 years of HammondCare.

  1. Keep your old friends and make new ones.
  2. Spend time with younger people – they can learn from you, and you might even learn from them.
  3. Don’t be afraid of technology – computers and the internet open up lots of new possibilities.
  4. And don’t be afraid to ask for help with technology – maybe from some of those younger people you have met.
  5. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to age well, so aim to be physically active on most, or ideally, every day of the week. 30 minutes on most days is the recommendation, but it can be broken down into smaller amounts if you can’t do it all at once.
  6. Exercise comes in many forms (cardio – strength – balance – flexibility) and you should try and do some of each. 
  7. If you are unsure about which types of exercise you can do, especially if you have any medical conditions, ask a professional such as your GP, or an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist.
  8. Build exercise into everyday activities when you can, such as housework, gardening and walking to the shops.
  9. Try and do exercise that you also enjoy, because you are more likely to do it.
  10. If you haven’t exercised for a while, get checked out by your doctor first.
  11. Challenge your mind by learning new things that interest you. For example, learn a language, learn to dance, read more, learn a musical instrument, do a community college course.
  12. Do things that give you a sense of personal achievement.
  13. Engage in activities that combine social, mental, and/or physical benefits, such as team sports, chess, cards, Scrabble, dinner parties, singing in a choir, or dancing.
  14. (Be brave and) try new foods!
  15. Experience new things just for the fun of it.
  16. Learn new recipes, especially those that support a healthy diet (for example, the Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, fish and poultry).
  17. Strike up a conversation with your neighbour or someone who lives in your community.
  18. Become a volunteer for a cause or group that you feel passionate about – it’s good for society and it’s good for you too.
  19. Limit your alcohol intake.
  20. Don’t drink and drive (but you already knew that).
  21. Understand what medications you are on and why – if in doubt ask your doctor to explain why each is needed.
  22. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about medications that might not mix well with alcohol.
  23. Try and have a positive attitude to life.
  24. Aim to maintain a healthy weight and keep an eye on your waistline.
  25. But, see your doctor if are losing weight and don’t know why.
  26. Talk with your GP if you are concerned about your mental health.
  27. Start a gratitude diary (or a ‘blog’), and write about the things in everyday life that you feel most grateful for.
  28. Connect with your family and friends on Facebook or other social media.
  29. Spend time with nature, whether it’s your balcony garden, a park, an inspiring view, or the great outdoors.
  30. Plan to get enough sleep every night because it’s good for your health and wellbeing.
  31. If you aren’t sleeping well talk with your doctor about good sleep habits and get checked out for a medical cause.
  32. Try and ‘stress less’, but if you have problems with anxiety don’t ignore it and seek help through your doctor or a psychologist.
  33. Don’t hold a grudge – it doesn’t help anyone!
  34. Nurture thankfulness and speak it out.
  35. Think about the ‘meaning of life’. If you aren’t sure, then talk it over with someone you trust.
  36. Don’t ignore your spiritual needs.
  37. If you are grieving, seek support.
  38. Seek help for feelings of depression that won’t go away.
  39. Be gracious with yourself and others.
  40. Remember to take time to slow down, count your blessings, and breathe.
  41. Discover things you love doing that bring you into the present, challenge you and are completely fun.
  42. It’s never too late to find out that you really are creative, so take up a paint brush, a pencil or some clay, or do an art class if you’re not sure.
  43. Each day, do one thing that makes you smile, spend time with your loved ones, perform a random act of kindness, laugh out loud, and share what you have with others.
  44. Ask for help if you need it.
  45. And help someone in need if you can – you will both be blessed.
  46. Never take your loved ones for granted, and always speak to them with kindness.
  47. Keep your vaccines up to date – they can prevent a lot of misery later on.
  48. If you are unsteady on your feet or fear falling, do a falls prevention class – there are lots of them around.
  49. With food, remember that ‘fresh is usually best’.
  50. Reduce your intake of salt and sugar (but occasional treats are OK!).
  51. Cross roads at the lights or at a crossing where you can, but no matter where you cross always look both ways first – you may not be as fast on your feet or hear as well as you used to!
  52. Take good care of your teeth – and see your dentist at least once a year.
  53. Sit less, move more.
  54. But don’t rush, take it easy. 
  55. If you are still smoking then seek help to stop. Stopping smoking, no matter your age, will make you healthier.
  56. In extreme hot weather remember to drink plenty of fluids and try and keep cool. 
  57. De-clutter your house. Get rid of things that you no longer use and that could get in the way, as it could cause you or someone to trip and fall. 
  58. If you are lonely, consider getting a pet.
  59. Get to know your neighbours. You never know when you need each other’s support.
  60. Don’t ignore hearing loss – it can cut you off from the world, and something can almost always be done to help.
  61. Keep fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and have them checked regularly. And if your hearing is poor, remember that there are special smoke detectors available. 
  62. See your GP on a regular basis, especially if have a chronic disease. And become a partner with them, in your health care.
  63. Get your eyes checked every year, even if you don’t think you have a problem. Conditions like glaucoma can creep up without warning.
  64. Don’t ignore your feet and toenails, and if you have diabetes or problems with feelings in the feet, think about seeing a podiatrist. 
  65. Drive defensively. When you get older you may have more wisdom but your reaction time may not be what it used to.
  66. Remember when you had to “Slip” on a shirt, “Slop” on some sunscreen, and “Slap” on a hat when you out in the sun to prevent skin cancer? Now you also need to “Seek” some shade and “Slide” on sunglasses when you are out in the sun.
  67. But your body also needs Vitamin D for good bone and muscle health, and you get Vitamin D from the sun. If you are one of the many people confused about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, ask your GP when you next see them. They can check your Vitamin D level if there is a need. Like all things in life, there is a balance between too much sun exposure and too little.
  68. While on the topic of sun and skin cancer, ask your doctor to check your skin at least annually, and be on the lookout for skin spots that darken, change in appearance, bleed, or get red or flaky.
  69. Put photos of family, friends or your favourite places on display to remind you of the good things in life.
  70. Screening saves lives. Talk with your doctor about screening programs for bowel, breast and cervical cancer, and any other screening that could be relevant to you.
  71. And if you experience abnormal bleeding, see your GP.
  72. Encourage and motivate others in helping them to achieve their health goals – it will probably help keep you motivated as well. 
  73. Remember to act on the warning signs for stroke (FAST – Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, Time to call for an ambulance) because early treatment can save lives and reduce disability.
  74. And don’t forget to also act early on the warning signs for a heart attack. These can include pain and/or tightness in the chest, jaw and arm, shortness of breath, sweats or palpitations.
  75. With possible stroke and heart attack it’s always OK if it’s a false alarm, so act quickly.
  76. Give a ‘high five’ to high fibre in your diet.
  77. Join an exercise class in your area (there are active over 50s programs all across the state) See www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au for the ones closest to you.
  78. A mobile phone is not only a great way to stay in touch and record instant memories, it can also be very helpful in an emergency.
  79. Ask your GP if you aren’t sure about your diagnosis or treatment, and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion.
  80. Visit one new place each week. 
  81. Practise prayer, contemplation, meditation or relaxation as part of your daily routine.
  82. Wake up with a grateful heart and think about one thing you have to be grateful for each day.
  83. Planning now for what can lie ahead can alleviate your anxieties about the future. Make sure you have an up-to-date Will and seek professional advice about having a trusted person as your Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, and/or Enduring Guardian. Advance care planning lets other people know in advance your wishes about your healthcare if you become unable to make decisions or speak for yourself, so start the conversation now.
  84. Remember, climbing ladders is much more dangerous than you think. Consider calling in a tradie.
  85. Retiring from work doesn’t mean retiring from life.

For more information: Call us on 02 8788 3900 or email aop@hammond.com.au.

Festival of Ageing



When: 8-10 March 2017
Where: HammondGrove Village Centre 11-23 Judd Ave, Hammondville 2170

For more information: 
Call us on 02 8788 3900 or email aop@hammond.com.au.