When You Get into Your 60s
As we age, our daily routines, health, and abilities change. However, staying physically and mentally well is a goal we all strive for as we approach our 60s. So, what can you expect in the 7th decade of life? Of course, every person is unique and ages differently. However, below are some of the most common changes people experience as they reach their 60s.
What to Expect in Your 60s?
Your lifestyle and health condition strongly influence transformations that may occur in this decade. Here are some changes you may start noticing on the outside and the inside.
- Skin Changes: As we age, our skin loses elasticity as the first two layers of the skin (the epidermis and dermis) begin thinning and flattening out. As a result, you may start noticing deeper creases and wrinkles. The age spots and bruises on your skin may also become more visible.
- Sleep Quality: In general, 60-year-olds need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, as we age, our brains release lesser amounts of melatonin (the sleep hormone). Therefore, you may experience trouble falling and staying asleep during the night as you reach the 60s.
- Immunity: The older we get, the weaker our immune system becomes because our bodies stop producing T cells responsible for finding and destroying germs and viruses. So, in your 60s, you are less able to avoid infections. It also takes longer to recover after an illness.
- Joints and Bones: As you age, your mobility may decrease or become limited, which can make your body stiffer and more fragile. According to the CDC’s reports, nearly half of the US population aged 65 years or older have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that causes swelling, inflammation, and pain in one or more joints. The two main types of arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis damage joints in different ways. Severe arthritis may impair your ability to sit or walk comfortably or carry out ADLs.
- Vision: By age 65, many people have chances of developing eye conditions such as dry eye, eye cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, or glaucoma. Such conditions can damage your vision but can be treated if noticed early. So make sure to have your eyes checked regularly.
- Hearing: Research shows that four out of ten Americans develop hearing troubles or hearing loss in their 60s due to various illnesses and the natural aging process. However, a hearing aid can help continue with your regular routine, so make sure to talk to your doctor if you experience trouble hearing in your 60s.
- Weight Issues: Obesity is not a normal part of getting old. Still, our metabolism slows down as we age, making it more difficult for our bodies to burn calories. However, a nutritious diet and regular physical activity can help keep a healthy weight and stay well.
What Can You Do in Your 60s?
Staying physically, socially, and mentally active is essential as we age. Although you may be getting used to the idea that you are not as mobile as before, staying active can keep you healthy and in a better mood.
Here are some activities that you can engage in in your 60s:
- Exercise: Physical activity is essential in maintaining good health and staying in shape. If you are healthy and athletic, consider joining a senior fitness center and engaging in sports activities. Even if your mobility is limited, you could still practice various exercises adjusted to your condition, such as seated exercises or yoga. Also, sports activities and regular physical activity can be an excellent opportunity to get some fresh air, socialize, and make friends.
- Mindfulness: Science has proven meditation benefits many times so far. Regular mindfulness exercise can improve your mood, help overcome negative thoughts, and increase resilience. It can also reduce stress levels and help you recognize stress-related physical symptoms such as aches and pains, insomnia, fatigue, and similar.
What do 60-Year-Olds Do for Fun?
When you retire, you will have the opportunity to do things you’ve always loved but didn’t have time for. So, in your 60s, you can explore the following hobbies and activities:
- Chess, puzzles, and other games
- Painting or coloring
- Drama classes
- Dancing classes
- Bird watching
- Journaling and poetry
- Language classes
- Social media
What is Considered Old Age?
In the past, people were considered old at age 59. Today, however, with increased longevity, men are regarded as old age at 70 to 71. At the same time, women are considered elderly at 73 years of age. This is the age when most people retire.
Is 63 Old for a Woman?
In the past, women 63 years of age and older were considered old. In the 1020s, women were considered middle age in their 40s. Nowadays, however, women transition out of middle age around 65, research shows.
Today, women are considered elderly when they reach 73 years of age.
What Do the Elderly Like for Gifts?
Like everyone else, the elderly have various interests and preferences. So, when buying a gift for an elderly family member or a friend, consider that person’s uniqueness and lifestyle.
Anything that follows their interests could make a great gift for an aging person, but here are a few ideas on what might elderly like for gifts:
- Scented flameless candles
- Puzzles and games
- A photo frame
- A gift card to their favorite store
- Warm socks or PJs
- A potted plant
- A coffee maker
- A spa gift-card
- Key locator
- A warm sweater
- Essential oils
- A coloring book
- A blanket
- A mug
- A comfortable chair
- A journal
- A trip
How to Keep Healthy and Enjoy Life in Your 60s?
Staying physically, socially, and mentally active helps aging people keep up good mental and physical health. Also, studies show that staying involved in your 60s helps maintain cognitive function, prevents or slows down dementia, improves sleep patterns, boosts mood, and increases longevity.
Here are a few ways to keep healthy and enjoy life in your 60s:
Regular Self-Care Practices: Self-care is the pillar of good mental and physical health. Regular self-care activities can help you stay healthy and happy as you age.
These may involve:
- Physical activity
- Relaxation exercises
- Normal sleep
- Social interaction
- Nutritious diet
- Social Interaction
Staying connected with family, friends, and your community can significantly impact your mental health and overall well-being.
There is a variety of social activities for aging adults you can participate in. Some social activities for the elderly include volunteering in your local community, game nights, dance classes, yoga classes, art and craft lessons, gardening, and similar.
Nature Time: Fishing, camping, gardening, and nature walks are great ways to enjoy your time and stay healthy in your 60s. Research shows that nature walks can benefit both your mental and physical health. Spending time in nature can:
- Improve your cognitive functions such as focus, memory, and attention
- Help maintain good physical health
- Boost immune system
- Alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression
- Improve mood
- Improve your sleep
Top Health Concerns in Your 60s
As we age, our health may severely decline. Here are the top health concerns you may encounter in your 60s.
High Blood Pressure: Hypertension is one of the most common health concerns in people 60 years of age and older. This is because our large arteries narrow and stiffen as we age, with fatty deposits building up on their walls, causing the blood pressure to rise.
Dementia: Cognitive decline typical for dementia often starts after the age of 65. This is because your chances of developing dementia increase with age. Almost 1 in 4 people aged 85-90 in the US have some form of dementia. However, dementia is not a natural part of aging. It doesn’t have to mean that you will get dementia as you age.
Heart Disease: Heart disease is the most common cause of death for Americans. To lower the risk of heart attack, heart failure, or stroke, stick to a healthy lifestyle:
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Limit caffeine consumption
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid processed foods with empty calories
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Practice mindfulness
Cancer Risk: Aging is one of the factors that increase the risk of having cancer. So, talk to your doctor and make sure to get your recommended screenings and tests.
What is the Best Diet in Your 60s?
Your body needs and health condition may change as you age. However, a well-balanced diet is essential because it helps you stay healthy, maintain optimum body weight and lower the risk of developing chronic illnesses.
A well-balanced diet in your 60s should contain foods rich in:
- Vitamins: fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, squash
- Minerals: nuts and seeds, cocoa, beans, lentils, avocado,
- Healthy fats: fish, seafood, nuts, eggs, chia seeds, dark chocolate
- Fiber: whole-grain foods, vegetables, beans, dried fruits, berries
Also, make sure to consume two to three servings of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese daily.
At the same time, avoid:
- Unpasteurized milk
- Undercooked meat
- Raw poultry
- Deli meats
- Foods high in saturated and trans-fat, sugars, preservatives, and salt
- Raw seafood
Summary: Staying active, consuming healthy foods, and keeping in touch with family and friends can keep you healthy and happy in your 60s. Also, self-care strategies such as exercise, mindfulness meditation, hobbies, and connection with nature can keep you in good mental health, improve your immune system, and increase longevity.