Senior Health

Patient Education for Seniors

For more than 90 years, Baptist Health has been delivering quality healthcare to the citizens of Arkansas. As part of our mission, we are committed to promoting health education like the resources found below. For even more comprehensive health education, visit our health encyclopedia

Five Ways to Age Gracefully

In recent years, an increasing amount of scientific evidence has supported the idea that people can do quite a lot on their own to lengthen their life span and to enhance the quality of life as they age. Here are five steps to take every day that can promote healthy aging and boost longevity:
  1. Eat healthy foods. To maintain a healthy weight and prevent diseases such as heart disease, cancer and stroke, eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and foods low in fat and cholesterol.
  2. Exercise regularly. Regular, vigorous exercise — at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week — improves mood and reduces depression; aids weight loss; increases strength, flexibility and balance; strengthens bones; and improves aerobic capacity (the ability of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to deliver adequate oxygen to muscles). Some studies suggest that exercise helps circulation to the brain, improving mental acuity.
  3. Perform mentally stimulating activities. Studies provide evidence that continuing mentally stimulating activities throughout life may help maintain memory. These activities include reading, playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, and going to museums. Other mentally challenging activities include learning to play an instrument, changing careers or starting one, trying a new hobby and volunteering. Although studies have shown an association between certain mentally stimulating activities and a reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease, the National Institutes of Health says that researchers still aren't sure whether these factors can actually prevent the disease.
  4. Get preventive health care tests. Have screenings, immunizations, and other preventive health care tests that are recommended for your age group or disease risk category. Be proactive with doctors and pharmacists by bringing a list of questions or concerns to every visit and not hesitating to speak up or ask questions.
  5. Maintain a positive attitude. Write down all the good things in life. Focus on being satisfied with life as it is. A positive attitude, adaptability, strong social contacts and religious and cultural convictions all contribute to happiness as people age.

Fall Prevention Checklist

Each year, thousands of older Americans fall at home due to hazards that are easy to overlook, but also easy to fix. The following checklist will help keep you safe at home:
  • Arrange furniture so there are clear walking paths
  • Remove throw rugs or use adhesive or non-slip backing, to prevent rug slips
  • Keep objects like shoes, books and blankets off the floor
  • Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall
  • Fix loose handrails or install new ones for any stairs and steps
  • Move frequently-used kitchen items to lower cabinets
  • Put a non-slip rubber mat on the floor of the tub or shower
  • Install grab bars inside the tub and next to the toilet
  • Place a lamp within easy reach of the bed
  • Use automatic night-lights in hallways and bathrooms

Cold vs. Flu: What's the Difference?

The common cold and flu (influenza) are two different illnesses. A cold is relatively harmless and usually clears up by itself after a period of time. However, the flu can lead to complications, such as pneumonia and even death. What may seem like a cold, could in fact, be the flu. Be aware of these differences:

Cold Symptoms

Flu Symptoms

Low or no fever

High fever

Sometimes a headache

A headache very common

Stuffy, runny nose

Clear nose

Sneezing

Sometimes sneezing

Mild, hacking cough

Cough, often becoming severe  

Slight aches and pains

Often severe aches and pains

Mild fatigue

Several weeks of fatigue

Sore throat

Sometimes a sore throat

Normal or low energy level  

Extreme exhaustion

Quiz: Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can occur for many reasons. Sometimes it occurs as people age. Sometimes it occurs after a long exposure to loud sounds. Learn more about hearing and hearing loss by taking this quiz.
Click here to take the Hearling Loss quiz

Assessment: Women's Osteoporosis Risk 

Osteoporosis affects one in two U.S. women. If you are a woman, use this tool to assess your risk for developing this disease.
Click here to take the Osteoporosis Risk quiz