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Healthy Aging

Americans are now living longer than in previous generations.  For seniors to live longer and have a good quality of life, it is important that they maintain a healthy lifestyle and take some preventive measures.        

Living a healthy lifestyle helps protect against the deterioration that is often associated with aging.  Dr. Vajeeha Tabassum, assistant professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, gives some tips to help seniors stay healthy.  

“The best thing that seniors can do to stay healthy is to learn about their conditions and what medications they are on, and keep their scheduled appointments with their doctors.  Also it would be best if they remained active socially and mentally as well as physically.”

Dr. Tabassum says seniors should talk with their doctor about regular screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and osteoporosis.  They should have regular screenings for vision and hearing changes as well as for cancers of the colon, breast and prostate.  They also should eat a healthy diet.

“A balanced diet is really important for seniors because as we age, there are a lot of different changes that happen with the older adult.  Eating a healthy diet which is rich in fruits and vegetables and maintaining balanced hydration is also very important.  If you have certain food restrictions, you need to talk with your doctor if you can take those particular diets.”

Dr. Tabassum says senior citizens should be physically active if possible.  Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.  For more information about healthy aging, check with a personal physician, a local senior citizen center or public health department.  Or visit the American Geriatric Society website at

Ruth Slottag