weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Take active role in your health care

Taking special care of your health, particularly after the age of 60, will help you ward off illnesses before their onset and also will help prepare your body to fight the illnesses that may not be prevented. After age 60, hidden health dangers such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, lung disorders and infectious diseases are more prevalent, and can appear with little warning.

Some simple lifestyle changes can significantly help manage or even avoid many potentially life-threatening conditions.

Take care of yourself

This is crucial in the senior years.

■ Don’t smoke.

■ Maintain a weight that is close to normal.

■ Get regular physical activity.

■ Eat a diet low in saturated and trans fats.

■ Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

Remember, after age 50 nutrition becomes increasingly important, so eat wisely and avoid empty calories. Keep in mind, however, that unexplained weight loss is a greater worry than a modest weight gain, particularly if it’s accompanied by waning strength and some loss of height. The latter is a sign of osteoporosis.

Seniors are reminded to stay active with workouts that build muscle mass, strength and bone density as well as cardiovascular fitness.

Take an active role

It’s important to learn as much as you can about any existing illnesses or conditions and ways to manage them. With a better understanding of current conditions and medication usages, time with your physician will be better spent on higher level discussions about ways to combat these illnesses and live a better quality life.

Your appointment with your doctor is your opportunity to address unanswered questions and state your concerns. Set goals for your appointment in advance. Make a list of the issues and symptoms you’d like to discuss with your doctor ahead of time and bring it with you.

Be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss finances; ask about out-of-pocket costs. If a prescribed drug is too costly, ask if there is a less expensive option.

seek preventive measures

Most preventive screenings are covered by Medicare. Seniors should stay up to date on vaccinations such as flu, pneumonia and hepatitis. Additional tests are available and include cancer screenings; diabetes screening and self-management training. Bone mass or density measurements are also available along with cardiovascular screenings; and smoking cessation.

One important area, often neglected by healthy seniors, is vision. A comprehensive, dilated eye examination is recommended at least every two years after age 60 to check for glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinopathy and other age-related eye disorders.

Monitor your health

Your health is monitored, in part, by charting changes that take place over time. In addition to monitoring blood sugar, it’s also wise to track blood pressure.

The combination of high blood sugar and high blood pressure is associated with many of the most serious complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, glaucoma and retinopathy.

If you have high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to take blood pressure readings several times a day and discuss these with your physician. Also be sure to keep a file of cholesterol screening tests. This will provide a snapshot of progression made with lifestyle changes prescribed by your physician.

Your continued good health is, in large part, a matter of attitude. Take a positive, active approach and communicate openly with your physician.

To Your Health is written by the staff of Boulder City Hospital. For more information, call 702-293-4111, ext. 576, or visit bouldercityhospital.org.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Police investigate Thanksgiving shooting

Police responded to a call of shots fired at 10:48 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, in the 1000 block of Boulder City Parkway, said Lisa LaPlante, communications manager.

PD officers honored for traffic safety efforts

Boulder City Police officers Ryan Espiritu and Ian Ham were recognized for their hard work and outstanding commitment to traffic safety with eight nominations and one award at the Joining Forces Nevada Traffic Safety Summit at the Nugget Casino Resort in Reno on Oct. 20.

Take charge of prediabetes to prevent progression

Did you know that one in three adults are diagnosed with prediabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020 there were an estimated 88 million adults, or 34.5 percent, of the U.S. adult population, diagnosed with prediabetes.

Tips to stay safe on Halloween

With Halloween quickly creeping around the corner, staying safe is just as important as the fun.

Program installs free smoke alarms for those in need

The American Red Cross, with help from members of the Rotary Club of Boulder City and community volunteers, is installing free smoke detectors in old and historic homes for those in need in Boulder City.

National Night Out returns

After a two-year hiatus, the National Night Out event is back in Boulder City with the return of the fan-favorite softball game that this year will be between the city’s police officers and firefighters.

Rehabilitation helps with illnesses, injuries

Rehabilitation is care that can help you get back, keep or improve abilities that you need for daily life. These abilities may be physical, mental and/or cognitive (thinking and learning). You may have lost them because of a disease or injury, or as a side effect from a medical treatment. Rehabilitation can improve your daily life and functioning.

Snake season: Warm temperatures bring out vipers

It’s summer and triple-digit weather season in the Boulder City and the Las Vegas Valley. While the heat can be a nuisance to some, rattlesnakes are thriving and catching some rays.

Pets need extra care during storms

By now, veteran residents in the Las Vegas Valley know how to deal with monsoon season. Stay indoors, don’t try and drive in the rain, and get to high elevation if flooding occurs. But we tend to forget about a group of residents who also have to adapt to these storms: pets.