Baby boomers are about to do something utterly conventional and predictable. They're going to start getting old and begin developing health problems. They're also going to retire from the workforce.
Baby Boomers will face a new set of challenges in order to stay healthy longer. They have fewer children to care for them, and more of their children are divorced and living at great distances. People will have to maintain their health for longer periods of their life in order to be able to function effectively.
Boomers have their own set of aging issues, such as living longer and rising health-care costs and needs. They have aging parents and need in-law suites and they may need additional bedrooms for adult children who return home to live. Boomers may want a single-level floor plan, wider door openings and lever door handles to accommodate aging parents, or so they don't have to move again as they age.
Boomers have a different set of expectations for their health care than generations past. A balanced diet and daily exercise are tried and true tactics for better living. Boomers should establish healthy lifestyles and receive annual health screenings.
Boomers should avoid prepared, high-fat and high-salt foods. People who eat a healthier diet have less Alzheimer's disease. Eat lots of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, while avoiding prepared, high-fat and high-salt foods. Widespread obesity is common among Boomers.
Physical activity is a critical, yet often neglected, part of staying healthy. At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times per week is recommended. Boomers should choose a physical activity that they enjoy, such as biking, water exercise or aerobics, and join a related club. When you're past 40, exercise is no longer a recreational pursuit; it's part of your health and needs to be thought of as that kind of priority.
Lower cholesterol and a more active physical and mental lifestyle will not only stay more mentally aware, but are less likely to suffer from series of small strokes that can lead to dementia.
Women should get annual mammograms at age 50 and beyond. Screening for bowel cancer, which is less talked-about but can be cured if caught early, should begin at age 50.
Vaccinations for adults are important. The vaccine to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia is generally of benefit at age 55 or older. Another good reason to be seen annually is to get the flu shot.
Prevention and screening are the most important issues for boomers, and prevention is more important. There's a lot of evidence that people are healthier mentally and physically than they used to be. So enjoy life, but work at living better.