Healthy aging and independence

Staying healthy and independent as we age is important. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are committed to helping you age well and stay independent.

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Staying healthy and independent

Regular conversations with your health care provider are a must, though they can be difficult. It’s important that you know your risks as you age. Being informed can help you and your provider get you on your way to healthy living. An annual wellness visit is a great opportunity to start this conversation with your provider.

A daughter helping her mother

Fall prevention

Fall risks challenge our independence and mobility as we age. According to the CDC, one in four older adults have falls that result in serious injury.1 Here are some measures you can take to lower your risk of falls:

How can I prevent falls at home?

  • Secure rugs and remove clutter from the floor
  • Make sure your home is properly lit
  • Be careful reaching for things
  • Limit alcohol or substance use
  • Install bars in your bathroom for support
  • Be mindful of pets

How can I prevent falls outdoors?

  • Wear safe shoes
  • Plan for weather
  • Avoid steps
  • Watch for uneven ground or poorly structured walkways 
  • Add additional lighting outside your home 

Talk with your provider today using the questions we’ve provided to help get the conversation started. 

Questions to ask your health care provider:

  • Could changes to my vision and hearing affect my balance?
  • Can my medications affect my stability?
  • Would physical therapy or a walking aid help my balance?
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Bladder control

As we age, bladder control can become a concern. According to the CDC,2 more than 40% of people 65 years and older have reported issues. Yet, they haven’t spoken to their providers. There are treatments for incontinence. To stay on top of your health, make sure to talk to your provider today. 

These conversations can be tough and personal. We’ve provided a list of suggestions to help you speak comfortably with your provider.

Conversations starters:

  • What are common causes of incontinence?
  • What could improve my control?
  • Can exercise or dietary changes help?
Two older members walking their dog

Healthy aging

Physical activity is one of the best ways to stay on top of your health. Thirty minutes of exercise a day can prevent falls and improve bladder control. Talk with your provider about adding physical activity to your lifestyle.

Tips for improving your physical activity:

  • Take a brisk 30-minute walk 
  • Join fitness classes in your area 
  • Take an online fitness class 
  • Do gardening outside

Questions for your provider:

  • What exercise or diet changes might help?
  • What are ways I can increase my daily activity?
  • How can I become more active considering my mobility limitations?
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Mental health

As you age, your body isn’t the only thing that benefits from a little extra care. We can help with tips to keep your mind going strong.

Tips for improving your mental health:

  • Invite a friend to go on a walk or video chat
  • Limit your alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks per day
  • Get active by signing up for an in-person or online fitness class
  • Remember it’s okay to ask for help when you need it

Education is always a good place to start when it comes to mental health. See our senior’s guide  for more resources:

Start the conversation

Talk with your PCP today about how you can stay healthy. The journey to healthy aging and independence begins here.

Will you talk with your provider about healthy aging?

Trusted resources for healthy aging

Article about reducing risks of falls at home.

Prevent falls at home

Your home should be a safe place. Follow these steps to limit your risk at home.

Read article
Video discussion regarding bladder control and aging

Bladder control as you age

Incontinence is a concern as we age. Watch this discussion on aging and bladder control.

Watch video
Article about staying physically fit while you age.

Staying physically fit

Regular physical activity is important and some physical activity is better than none, so get started today.

Read article

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. “Facts about Falls.” www.cdc.gov. August 6, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html.
  2. Gorina Y, Schappert S, Bercovitz A, et al. Prevalence of incontinence among older Americans. National Center for Health Statistics.