Healthy Aging

The good news: Americans are living longer and living more active lifestyles. Here are some of the most important things you can do to stay healthy, active, and independent through the years. No matter how old you are, it is never too late to begin taking care of yourself.

The CDC’s 6 Tips for Healthy Aging

happy grandparents with two grand children

  1. Healthcare
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Safety

See a Healthcare Provider Regularly

Visiting your health care provider regularly helps catch problems early, making them easier to treat. You can also find out about screening tests and immunizations you might need. You and your health care provider will decide together how often you should be seen.

Get Insurance Coverage

Having health insurance is essential. The Arizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free health-benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or caregivers. SHIP is an independent program funded by federal agencies and is not affiliated with the insurance industry. Call 602-542-4446 or statewide 1-800-432-4040. 

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) offers health insurance for individuals 65 and older. For those who qualify, there are no monthly premiums. Call 602-417-7200 or statewide 1-800-331-5090.

Prescription Drug Discount Card

Maricopa County is a participating county in the NACo Prescription Discount Card Program which means that residents can print their own Prescription Drug Discount Card to help save on prescription medication that is not covered by insurance, or if the individual doesn't have insurance.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Over the past 50 years, there has been an improvement in the nation’s oral health. Most middle-aged and older adults can expect to keep their natural teeth over their lifetime. Tooth loss is not a natural part of aging, it is caused by untreated mouth and gum disease. Taking prescription medications can cause dry mouth, which can also increase your risk of tooth decay. What else can you do to maintain good oral health? Check out these tips.

Regular check-ups allow your dentist to catch problems early. Stick to the schedule of visits your dentist recommends for you. 

Mental Health Challenges
About 43 million people in the United States — around 14 percent of the population — are 65 or older, and that number is projected to increase 20 percent by 2030, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Read more about Mental Health Challenges for Aging Americans by Georgetown University’s School of Nursing. 

understanding depression among aging americans Opens in new window

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Related Diseases

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a fatal brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. It is the most common form of dementia.

Learn about Alzheimer’s in Arizona 

Download Alzheimer’s Statistics in Arizona: See statistics for number of cases, deaths and costs associated with Alzheimer’s. 

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you or a loved one have concerns about memory loss or other symptoms of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, it is important to be evaluated by a physician.

There are medications available to help ease symptoms, but currently there is no cure.

More Information:

Caregivers for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Face Special Challenges 

Though the care provided by family members of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is somewhat similar to the help provided by caregivers of people with other conditions, dementia caregivers tend to provide more extensive assistance. Family caregivers of people with dementia are more likely to assist with more activities of daily living. This responsibility can take an emotional, physical, and financial toll, but knowledge of available resources can help relieve the stress. Research shows that caregivers who access support activities regularly are healthier and better able to provide care.

Life Care Planning (Advance Directives) is about knowing what is most important to you and communicating how that affects your wishes for future health care. It is a consistent process for evaluating a person and disability in order to establish all of the needs dictated by the onset of that disability.

Life Care Planning is an important task for all of us, whether young or old, healthy or facing challenges. Through increased awareness and access to information, Arizonans of all ages can make their choices known about who will manage their medical affairs in the event of an emergency.

The Attorney General of Arizona offers the Life Care Planning forms, at no cost to you.

Additional Resources