If you’re in good health, turning 60 can be the start of some of your most rewarding years. With retirement looming, your priorities will change and you may find you have more time for life outside of work such as family, friends and travel.
Staying on top of your health now means you can make the most of the years ahead. Here are some simple steps and advice on what medical checks you need to help you enjoy a long and healthy life when you’re over 60.
A look at the health of Aussies in their 60s
- 7 in 10 Australians aged 65 and over considered they had good, very good or excellent health.
- 13% of all deaths of those aged over 65 was caused by coronary heart disease.
- 1 in 6 older Australians reported having diabetes.
- 10 – 15% experience anxiety or depression.
- 7 out of 10 people aged over 60 are overweight or obese.
- 51% of those aged over 65 reported some form of disability.
Tips for good health in your 60s and beyond
- Take up golf, walking, tennis or try something new to keep physically active.
- Exercise your mind by learning new things and trying new hobbies.
- Watch your drinking habits and if you’re a smoker, It’s never too late to quit.
- Look after your mental health. Seniors may be more at risk of loneliness, which can have an impact on their physical and mental health. Talk about your problems or concerns with a friend or family member and see your GP or a psychologist if you think you might need professional help.
- Watch your food intake and take the time to prepare nutritious meals with lots of fruit and vegetables.
- Socialise as much as you can and enjoy time with your family and friends.
Health checks to have now
- Check yourself. Here are some simple health checks you can do yourself at home.
- Visit your GP for regular check-ups and screenings and talk about any emotional concerns, anxiety, stress or depression you might be experiencing.
- Screen for bowel cancer. Once you’re over 50, you should be screened every 2 years. Through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, many people 50 and over are automatically sent free FOBT kits.
- Keep your weight and waist in check. Measure your waist and check your BMI to ensure you are at a healthy weight.
- Visit the dentist every 6 to 12 months or as recommended by your dentist. Good oral care not only contributes to a great smile, it’s also good for your general health and wellbeing. If you are a Medibank member with extras cover you can get 100% back on your annual dental check-up, except x-rays, at a Members Choice dentist.
- Get your hearing tested. Talk to your doctor if you need a referral.
- Get the flu shot. An annual flu shot is recommended for people 65 years and over.
- Get your eyes tested regularly. As we get older, our eyesight changes. An eye test can check whether your glasses are up to date and detect the health of your eyes. Not only will it pick up on eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, it can also look out for other health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have health insurance, check if you have optical cover. If you are a Medibank member, you’ll get 100% back up to your annual limit for prescription glasses, contacts and more at any recognised optical provider Australia wide.