Successful aging from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

Couple riding bikes for exercise

Healthy aging

  • 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.

Medication safety

  • 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.

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