Join in and have fun
With up to a third of people living alone over 65, loneliness and isolation can easily become negative factors in your life, increasing your risk of depression and dementia. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Now you have more time to enjoy life, use it. Keep in touch with friends and make new ones, doing the things you never had time for before. Taking up a hobby or starting a class could be the thing that gives you a new lease of life.
Being socially and mentally active in later life can also help to reduce your need for comforts such as cigarettes and alcohol. If you are a smoker, it’s never too late to give up. You start seeing the health benefits from the moment you stop, even if you quit in your 60s.
What tests do I need to take?
Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you’re going to be ill. But your risk of developing common health conditions does go up with age, so it pays to get yourself checked out on a regular basis. Early diagnosis can mean the difference between living well with a condition or suffering a debilitating chronic illness.
These are some of the key tests and vaccinations to talk to your doctor about:
- Blood glucose test, for type 2 diabetes
- Blood pressure test, to assess your risk of heart disease and stroke
- Bone density test, for osteoporosis
- Thyroid test, for hyperthyroidism
- PSA test, for prostate cancer
- Colonoscopy, for bowel cancer
- Flu and pneumonia vaccines
- Shingles vaccine.
You should also listen to your body and keep an eye out for signs of other health issues that increase with age, such as memory loss or trouble with balance. It’s normal to experience these but do see your doctor if you’re worried or the problem starts to interfere with your daily life.
Further reading and resources
Ageing well hub - AXA Health
From life span to health span - AXA Health
Getting active - your way - AXA Health
How to fight fatigue and boost your energy - AXA Health
Exercises to delay dementia and boost your brain power - AXA Health
Harness the power of positive thinking - AXA Health
Boost your bone health - AXA Health
Exercises to improve balance and prevent falls - AXA Health
 NHS, Exercise as you get older. (Accessed 16 March 2021)