Successful aging from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
- Exercise for 30 minutes most days. Include a mixture of aerobic exercise, strengthening and activities that enhance balance and flexibility.
- Quit smoking.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Reduce alcohol.
- Manage chronic conditions and stress.
- Prevent accidents.
- Keep a current list of all prescribed, over-the-counter and herbal medications.
- Ask your health-care provider and pharmacist questions about your medication and make sure you understand what you are taking and when to take it.
- Re-read the label each time.
- Store medications appropriately.
- Get help in taking medications if needed.
- Check with your health-care provider before stopping medications or changing doses. Discard old medications.
Assuring your preferred future
- Provide for a durable power of attorney for health care.
- Provide for an advance directive or POLST (physician orders for life-sustaining treatment) that describes your wishes if you are unable to make decisions related to your health.
- Have the important conversations with family, friends and health-care providers about your end-of-life wishes.
- Keep a current medication list and share it with those you designate to help you. Maintain an inventory of your documents and their location.
- Get help when you need it.
Take PART* in your health-care visits
- Prepare your agenda, questions and information you need to share with your health-care provider.
- Ask about the diagnosis, tests, treatment, lifestyle changes and required follow-up.
- Repeat what you hear.
- Take action by writing down instructions, taking a friend with you, being open and asking for a second opinion.
* Adapted from "Living a Health Life with Chronic Conditions," by Kate Lorig, et. al.