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As you age, your health care needs change. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever. There are many actions you can take to take charge of your health, including changes to your diet and activity levels. Getting health screenings and managing risk factors for disease can prevent future complications. Learning about preventing falls or making your home safer can keep you healthy and independent.
Below, find topics about some common health concerns for seniors. You will also find useful resources that will help you make informed decisions about your health and health care in British Columbia
Take charge of your health
Early disease detection can be an important tool towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about how you can detect certain diseases earlier:
Community involvement and active living
Involving yourself in your community, learning new skills and giving back to others can help you grow, meet new people, be creative and feel valued. Keeping our minds strong is as important as keeping our bodies fit.
A healthy lifestyle, including eating nutritious foods can help you age well. A healthy diet keeps your body strong, your mind sharp, and can help slow the aging process. It can also lower your risk of, or help prevent some chronic conditions and illnesses.
- Healthy Eating and Healthy Aging for Adults (HealthLinkBC File #68j)
- Healthy Eating Guidelines for People with Chewing Difficulties
- Heart Healthy Eating (HealthLinkBC File #68a)
Keeping active in your later years contributes to healthy aging. It can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of disease. Being active can help you feel better and possibly even live longer. It can also help reduce your risk of falling, which can cause serious injury. Learn more about physical activity:
Planning for the future
Creating an advance care plan involves thinking about and writing down your wishes or instructions for health care decisions in case you are not able to express yourself. This gives you a voice and lets loved ones know what to do if they need to make decisions on your behalf.
Preparing for an emergency or disaster requires special consideration of seniors’ needs. Learn about what you can do to make sure you and your family are prepared for an emergency:
- Beat the Heat
- Caring for Seniors in Residential Care in an Emergency (HealthLink BC File #103c)
- Community Evacuation Information for Seniors (HealthLinkBC File #103a)
- Seniors as Emergency Response Volunteers (HealthLinkBC File #103b)
- Wildfires and Your Health
Planning for your retirement can help you maintain your lifestyle and increase your financial security. Learning about avoiding frauds and scams can keep you safe. Estate planning can help reduce confusion and provide reassurance to your family.
You may want to make changes to your home to help you safely age in place, or you may want to consider facilities that meet your changing needs. You may need to find affordable options after your retirement.
Transportation and driving
After retirement, your transportation needs may change as you no longer commute to work. You may opt to take transit or walk, cycle, carpool or use a car sharing service. Learn more about transportation options and how to use them.
As you grow older, some changes can affect your well-being. The loss of a loved one, the end of work, a change in roles, a drop in income, illness or other events are common triggers for mental health concerns.
For more resources and information, visit the Mental Health and Substance Use page.
Abuse and neglect
Abuse and neglect in later life can affect health, happiness and safety. Older adults can experience different kinds of harm. Types of harm include physical, emotional, financial, sexual, spiritual and social.
- Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults: Information for Family Caregivers (HealthLinkBC File #93b)
- Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults: Understanding Gender Differences (HealthLinkBC File #93c)
- Elder Abuse
- Financial Abuse of Older Adults (HealthLinkBC File #93d)
- Preventing Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults (HealthLinkBC File #93a)
- Preventing Elder Abuse and Neglect
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of mental decline or dementia in older adults. Keeping your brain healthy may reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and help you manage symptoms. Learn more about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases.
Common health concerns
Learn about some of the common health concerns seniors have. See seniors' health topics for more information.
If you have cataracts, here is some information to help you make an informed decision on having them surgically removed. To learn more, visit Cataracts: Should I have Surgery?
As you age, you may be at higher risk of complications from influenza. Influenza vaccines are a safe and effective way to help you stay healthy and prevent illness. Learn more about Why Seniors Should Get the Inactivated Influenza (Flu) Vaccine (HealthLinkBC File #12a).
To learn more about the flu, it’s symptoms and how to treat it, visit Influenza (Seasonal Flu).
About 60 to 70 per cent of people over the age of 65 have hearing problems. Learn about the sign of hearing loss, the different types of hearing loss, and what you should do if you think you have hearing loss. Visit Hearing Loss in Adults (HealthLinkBC File #71c).
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for men and women in B.C. Learn more about Coronary Artery Disease and how to manage it.
High Blood Pressure
Learn about high blood pressure and lifestyle changes you can make that may help prevent it.
Osteoporosis is a health condition that affects your bones. Learn about prevention, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.
Parkinson's disease results from a problem with certain nerve cells in the brain. It affects the way you move and your balance. Learn more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for Parkinson's Disease.
A stroke is the sudden loss of brain function. Learn about important lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk of stroke and improve your health.
Aging Well Videos
Have you started planning for your aging well journey? Watch these videos about how some British Columbians from across the province are planning to age well.
BC Falls and Injury Prevention Coalition (BCFIPC) – Finding Balance
The BC Falls and Injury Prevention Coalition (BCFIPC) is a multisectoral collaborative of individuals or organization members who have regional or provincial-level representation for an organization, academic institution, professional association and/or community agency whose work has the ability to influence the reduction falls and fall-related injuries among older persons in British Columbia.
Healthy Eating for Seniors Handbook
The Healthy Eating for Seniors Handbook includes recipes, menu plans, and information on good nutrition. The handbook is available in English and French and has also been culturally adapted and translated into Chinese and Punjabi. For PDF or audio versions of the handbook, click on the link below. To order a printed copy visit our Resource Order Form or call 8-1-1 (or call 7-1-1 for the deaf and hard of hearing).
Osteoporosis Canada – Nutrition
Osteoporosis Canada provides education and support to help prevent and treat osteoporosis. The Osteoporosis Canada - Nutrition resource provides information about calcium and vitamin D and their role in bone health.
SeniorsBC provides more information for seniors living in British Columbia.
BC Seniors Community Parks
Build strength, endurance, agility, balance and overall physical fitness using the wellness circuit at a BC Seniors Community Park in your area. Equipment is easy to use, and designed to increase your ability to perform day-to-day activities. The equipment is suitable for those aged 13 years and older.
Last Updated: June 2021