Aging hacks

March 8, 2017

aging-hacksNo matter how with-it we think we are, there’s no question that aging has effects on our bodies and our minds.

Cognitively, we’re not as sharp as we were when we were younger. That’s just a fact.  It may take more time to process information, our memories lag a bit and in general, learning can be more difficult with the older brain.  Our response and reaction times can also be slower.

I know plenty of 60-something people who are sharp as a tack, fit and trim–but that doesn’t make them immune to things like missing a stair when going up or down, tripping over something they didn’t see on the sidewalk or any number of accidents that are more common among older adults.

Let’s not be in denial. This stuff happens. We all have friends to whom it’s happened and some of us have personal experience.

Some aging hacks are needed and I’ve got a few. In fact, these are really life hacks, because they apply to any age group. But even more so to seniors.

Watch your step.

When I walk my dog I am conscious of every step I take. The earth moves in California and sidewalks move, too. They’re infamously uneven and it’s easy to trip and fall. I’ve done it. So now, I watch my step. Every step. I don’t want to be one of those 60-somethings having leg surgery or worse.  Prevention is key.

Get the best car safety features you can afford. And a free safety tip.

It’s easier than ever to get distracted in a car because there really is a lot going on and our cognitive functioning has likely changed. At least for most of us.  One big problem in cars is not seeing a vehicle in our blind spot. For the past long time, I turn my head before i change lanes so I can actually see who is creeping up on me. And boy, have I been surprised! It’s an easy thing–and free– and anyone can do it. Turn your head and LOOK.

Our new car has a blind spot indicator and it’s a good thing; M has had some pretty close calls by not turning his head. In fact, today’s vehicles have a fantastic selection of safety features and we try to get them all if we can. Next time you buy a car, get as many as you can afford.

Wear a mask.

On a plane the other month the young man sitting next to me gave me the side eye. “Why the mask?” he asked, clearly in fear of catching some dread disease from me.

“Because people are coughing and hacking all over this plane and I don’t want to get sick,” I told him. “I got bronchitis after a flight to Sicily one year and it ruined my trip. I don’t want that to happen again.”

“My wife should do that,” he said. “She always gets sick on planes.”

“You should get her a mask,” I suggested.

“Oh, she’s got too much pride to wear one,” he said.

Seriously? She’d rather get sick than wear a mask?

I’ve got a pretty good immune system, but it’s not good enough to deal with the kind of hacking and coughing that goes on in those closed cylinders I fly everywhere. Wearing a mask when I fly is a way I minimize my risk. Many older folk don’t have great immunity so this is something easy they can do to try to prevent exposure to illness. That, and washing hands compulsively.

Walk into Stanford Hospital and there’s a mask station right inside the front door. I didn’t take one the other day and ended up in a bathroom with a woman who has coughing her brains out. I held my breath as long as I could.

Wear a mask.

I know you’ve got some aging hacks, yourself, to share. I hope you will, in the comments. Because we’re all in this together, right?


30 comments on “Aging hacks
  1. ryder ziebarth says:

    Get the shingles shot, take your vitamins, work out two-three times a week with full body resistance program like the Barr classes, and walk like a Motherfu*ker.

  2. robin masshole mommy says:

    I am one of those people that can fall just standing still, so I definitely have to watch where I walk LOL. Great tips 🙂

  3. MaryAnne says:

    U just loved the mask idea, in this case you must be so confident to do it, it is great!

  4. beth grossman says:

    Wash hands before preparing food
    Wash hands when getting home from shopping or other errands
    Use regular soap, not antibacterial
    Put raw poultry in plastic produce bags before packing in grocery bags
    No hand sanitizer gel; promotes superbugs.
    Cook all foods thoroughly and reheat leftovers to piping hot
    No rare burgers!

  5. I wear a mask on most planes. I started doing it after my hubby’s double lung transplant, but I find that I get sick less often. Getting sick on planes is a trademark for me!

  6. stacey says:

    Also wash your hands a lot. You can use a mask but also clean the armrest and seat back tray tables with a disinfectant.

  7. Jim Cotter says:

    I appreciate the hacks. In my mind though, they are hacks more for chronic disease than for aging. People at all ages are liable to stumble, trip and fall. It has more to do with balance and perception than aging as such. Ten to one a good yoga regimen or some such training would avoid many of those falls. So let’s add yoga and exercise and weight control as the ultimate hacks.

  8. Marcie W. says:

    These are awesome tips and honestly beneficial at any age! I may only be in my mid-30s, but I tend to get sick while traveling, so I see masks in my near future.

  9. It’s so true! No matter how much someone tries to avoid or deny getting older, it will happen. Being aware and preventative is key. I believe being consistently active is really important. The more you use your body, the more comfortable it is in that role.

  10. I have to say for someone that just hit 50 (me) is not as bad as I thought. I was upset hitting the 5 0 . I got over it and now live each day as best as I can.

  11. Elizabeth O. says:

    Other than the typical anti-aging products and living a healthy lifestyle, I don’t know of any other aging hacks out there. It’s good advice to wear a mask though, airplanes aren’t really sanitary.

  12. Those tips are great,specially the mask to hydrate skin!

  13. Cameron says:

    Great tips! Always important to stay safe and be healthy! Washing hands and taking immune boosting vitamins would also be a good idea!


  14. Ronnie says:

    Great tips, regardless of age. The mask in the plane = brilliant. I’ll start doing that as well – I ended up with the absolute worst flu I’ve ever had on a trip back from Thailand. I was perfectly healthy until after the third flight. Then I spent over a week and a half incredibly sick!

  15. Natalie says:

    I got really sick after a trip a couples of years ago. The mask tip is a really good idea to keep viruses away.

  16. Krysten says:

    I have to watch my feet or I trip, a lot. I am a very clumsy person. I never thought about wearing a mask on a plane, I need to do that because I get really sick easily.

  17. Denice says:

    Taking vitamins and regularly walking really helps. Aside from that I read in an article before that playing with kids and dogs also help.

  18. I never travel without a mask! I make sure my son wears a mask too whenever we ride a plane.

  19. These are great hacks. I’m all for anything that makes aging easier and healthier!

  20. Caitlin says:

    I wear a mask every time I’m on a plane or when I go to the hospital for doctor’s appointments, etc. I don’t care if people look at me strangely haha!

  21. I see people wearing a mask all the time on planes! I always forget when boarding a plane. They really need to just hand them out upon boarding.

  22. Thanks about these tips. To ensure I age gracefully, I take vitamins and eat healthy these days.

  23. Nicole says:

    Take good care of yourself before it’s too late. Water, workout, stress relief… etc.

  24. HeleNe cohen bludman says:

    I think being extra careful without being paranoid is important. Washing hands is something I’m more conscious of.

  25. Practice yoga.
    Drink lots of water.
    Hang out with people of different ages.
    Take fish oil supplements.

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