27 Activities to Avoid After Age 75

As people get older, some activities may become riskier because of changes in health, mobility, and overall well-being. In this slide show, we look at common activities that seniors might need to approach carefully or skip entirely to lower the risk of injury or other problems. By recognizing these potential risks and making smart choices, older adults can focus on staying safe and enjoying life as they grow older.

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#1 Adventure Sports

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Activities like bungee jumping and skydiving involve a high level of risk and require excellent physical condition. These types of activities can also put a lot of strain on the heart and circulatory system. If interested in thrills, consider less extreme options or consult with a doctor before engaging in any high-risk activity.

#2 Lifting Very Heavy Objects

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Lifting heavy objects can strain the back and joints, increasing the risk of injuries like hernias or pulled muscles. Always assess the weight before lifting and bend at the knees to protect the back. If the object is too heavy, don’t hesitate to ask for help or use proper lifting equipment.

#3 Not Getting Enough Sleep

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Sleep patterns may change with age, and people might require slightly less sleep than when younger. However, getting enough rest is still crucial for overall health and well-being. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to maintain cognitive function, mood regulation, and physical health.

#4 Excessive Sun Exposure

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After the age of 75, excessive sun exposure should be avoided due to increased risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Aging skin becomes more fragile and less capable of repairing itself, making older individuals more susceptible to UV radiation. Pre-existing health conditions and medications can further increase sensitivity to sunlight. Older adults may also have reduced immune function and a higher risk of heat-related illnesses. Protective measures such as sunscreen, clothing, and seeking shade are crucial for sun safety in this age group.

#5 Ignoring Adaptive Devices

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As bodies age, they may not function in the same way they did when younger. Adaptive devices can be helpful tools for maintaining independence and safety in everyday life. These range from simple grab bars in the bathroom to magnified reading glasses or hearing aids. While using adaptive devices may seem like an admission of decline, they can actually improve quality of life and allow continued activity and engagement in daily routines.

#6 Not Getting Regular Exercise

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Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health at any age. It helps control weight, strengthen muscles and bones, improve mood, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, or consult with a doctor to create a safe and effective exercise program.

#7 Crash Dieting

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Crash diets are unhealthy and unsustainable weight loss methods. They often involve severe calorie restriction and can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, and yo-yo dieting. Focus on a balanced and healthy diet with a moderate calorie deficit for sustainable weight loss and overall well-being.

#8 Falling for Financial Scams

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Financial scams can be devastating at any age, but especially for retirees or those on a fixed income. Scammers often prey on vulnerabilities and a sense of trust. Be wary of unsolicited calls, emails, or letters offering unrealistic investment opportunities or promising quick fixes to financial problems. Never share personal financial information over the phone or email unless you are absolutely certain of the caller’s or sender’s legitimacy.

#9 Skipping Meals

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Skipping meals can disrupt blood sugar levels and lead to overeating later in the day. It can also be dangerous for people with certain health conditions, such as diabetes. Develop a regular eating pattern that includes three meals and healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain stable energy levels and support a healthy metabolism.

#10 Isolating Oneself

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Social interaction is vital for both mental and physical health. It helps reduce stress, combat feelings of loneliness, and provide a sense of belonging. Make an effort to stay connected with friends and family, join social groups or clubs that interest you, or volunteer in the community.

#11 Skipping Regular Checkups

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Regular checkups with a doctor are crucial for identifying and treating health problems early on. These checkups can detect potential issues before they become serious and allow for early intervention and treatment. Schedule regular checkups with a doctor as recommended by their expertise and individual health needs. Discuss any health concerns and be open about lifestyle habits.

#12 Not Getting Enough Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is essential for bone health and helps the body absorb calcium. As we age, our ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight decreases. Talk to a doctor about getting vitamin D levels checked and whether a vitamin D supplement might be needed to ensure one is getting enough for optimal health.

#13 Not Taking Medication as Prescribed

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It’s critical to take medication exactly as prescribed by a doctor. Skipping doses, stopping medication without consulting a doctor, or taking the wrong dosage can be dangerous and compromise the effectiveness of the medication. Always follow a doctor’s instructions for taking medication and discuss any concerns about side effects or potential interactions with other medications.

#14 Not Prioritizing a Healthy Diet

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Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is essential for maintaining good health at any age. It provides the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly and can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Focus on consuming a balanced diet that incorporates a variety of healthy foods and limit unhealthy fats, added sugars, and processed foods.

#15 Making Major Life Decisions When Stressed

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When feeling overwhelmed or stressed, judgment and decision-making abilities can be clouded. It’s best to wait until you feel calmer and clearer-headed before making any significant life decisions that could have lasting consequences. Take time to gather information, consider all options, and discuss them with trusted individuals before making a final decision.

#16 Rushing Through Daily Tasks

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Slowing down and taking the time to enjoy the present moment can improve overall well-being. Rushing through daily tasks can lead to stress, anxiety, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Practice mindfulness and focus on the task at hand. Take breaks throughout the day to relax and recharge.

#17 Overlooking Fall Hazards

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Falls are a serious risk for older adults. Taking steps to prevent falls can significantly improve safety and independence. Ensure the home is free of clutter, has good lighting throughout, and has grab bars installed in bathrooms. Wear sturdy shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls.

#18 Not Taking Breaks Throughout the Day

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Sitting for extended periods can lead to stiffness, fatigue, and even circulation problems. Get up and move around every hour or so to improve blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and boost energy levels. Take short walks, stretch at a desk, or do some light housework to break up long periods of sitting.

#19 Not Using Safety Gear

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When engaging in any activity that carries a risk of injury, it’s crucial to wear appropriate safety gear. This could include a helmet when cycling, gardening gloves when working outdoors, or safety goggles when using power tools. Wearing proper safety gear can significantly minimize the risk of serious injuries.

#20 Ignoring Digital Risks

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The digital world offers numerous advantages, but it also presents security risks. As people age, staying informed about online safety becomes even more crucial. Malicious software, phishing scams, and identity theft can target anyone, but older adults may be less familiar with the latest threats. Learning about common online scams, using strong and unique passwords, and exercising caution when clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files are essential steps.

#21 Handling Firearms

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If there are any concerns about eyesight, reflexes, or strength, it’s wise to stop handling firearms. These concerns can affect one’s ability to handle firearms safely. Discuss gun safety with a doctor and make a responsible decision. Consider storing firearms securely or asking a trusted family member or friend to be responsible for them if no longer comfortable handling them oneself.

#22 Not Drinking Enough Fluids

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Seniors over 75 should drink plenty of fluids to maintain hydration and support overall health. With age, the body’s ability to regulate fluid balance decreases, making dehydration more common and severe. Proper hydration helps prevent urinary tract infections, constipation, and confusion, which are prevalent issues in older adults. Adequate fluid intake also supports joint lubrication and temperature regulation, enhancing physical comfort and well-being. Regularly consuming fluids like water, herbal teas, and hydrating foods can contribute to better cognitive function and energy levels in seniors.

#23 Not Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth Regularly

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Seniors over 75 should prioritize oral health as it significantly impacts overall well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and even systemic health issues like cardiovascular disease and pneumonia. Maintaining oral health supports proper nutrition intake, essential for seniors’ overall health and vitality. Regular dental check-ups can detect and prevent dental problems early, preventing discomfort and costly treatments. Good oral hygiene habits also contribute to improved speech, digestion, and confidence in social interactions, enhancing quality of life in older adults.

#24 DIY Home Repairs

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While some simple home repairs are manageable, avoid strenuous tasks that require a lot of climbing, lifting heavy objects, or working with electrical wiring. These activities can increase the risk of falls, injuries, and electrical shock. For jobs that require specialized skills or pose safety risks, hire a qualified professional to ensure the work is done safely and correctly.

#25 Driving Long Distances

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Long drives can be tiring, especially for older adults. Fatigue can impair judgment and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents. If taking a long trip is necessary, break it up into shorter legs and share the driving responsibilities with a companion. Plan rest stops frequently to get out of the car, stretch legs, and stay alert.

#26 Ignoring Symptoms

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Don’t dismiss aches, pains, dizziness, or any other unusual symptoms experienced. These could be early signs of an underlying health condition. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. See a doctor to get any concerning symptoms checked out promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can often lead to better outcomes.

#27 Excessive Alcohol Consumption

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Alcohol can interact with medications one might be taking and worsen certain health conditions. It’s important to limit alcohol intake or avoid it altogether if having specific health problems. Discuss safe alcohol consumption levels with a doctor, considering any medications taken and overall health status.

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