In 1866, thirteen Newark women founded The Society for Relief of the Respectable Aged Women, known now as Green Hill Senior Living. The nonprofit began as a home for the thirteen widowed and unmarried women, where they would share companionship and assistance with their daily living tasks. In 1866, average life expectancy for Caucasian women in the US was approximately 45 years. In the latter half of the 19th century, an average of 16 percent of Caucasian women reached the age of 60, and only 10 percent reached the age of 70. The life expectancy for women of color was significantly lower due to the policies and culture of America pre and post the Civil War. Over the next century, as the longevity of women in the U.S. rose, the need for senior housing for women grew, and the “Society” expanded, filling two large buildings with elder women and providing healthcare and nursing care services.
Today, life expectancy for all U.S. women averages 81 years of age. With access to good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and genetic luck, women are living well into their 90’s and beyond. The Kaiser Foundation reports that women are more likely to experience multiple health issues as they age, however. Women are more likely than men to incur cognitive decline and memory loss. Additionally, older women are susceptible to heart disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer and diabetes. The National Women’s Health Resource Center notes that “Lung cancers cause the greatest number of cancer-related deaths in women, followed by breast cancer, then colon cancer.”
Healthy Aging Tips for a Vibrant Lifestyle
The FDA suggests good habits are the key to healthy aging including eating a nutritious diet, avoiding common medication mistakes, getting early screenings, managing health conditions and staying active.
The healthy aging tips below will support healthier lifestyle for women and men alike.
How to Age Well
Practice Healthy Eating Habits
- Include a rainbow of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low fat protein and diary.
- Be mindful of the size of your portions.
- Ensure that your sodium and sugar intake remain low.
Avoid Common Medication Mistakes
- All medicines and supplements should be reviewed by your doctor.
- Keep a list of medications and dosages and share it with both your doctor and pharmacist when introducing any new medication or supplement to your routine.
- Read labels.
- Some medication should not be taken if you plan to drive.
- Many prescription medications should not be combined with alcohol or over the counter medications.
- Check the medication storage requirements.
- Medications should not be halved and do not miss dosages.
- Medications purchased online may not be real.
- Weight training increases muscle, ligament strength and bone density.
- Weight and resistance training can prevent or slow osteoporosis and helps with balance.
- Cardio exercise like walking, biking, and dancing helps prevent weight gain and diabetes and heart disease.
- Socialize and stay engaged
- Volunteer at a local organization, hospital or food bank.
- Join a club at your house of worship or local community.
- Engage in the arts. Stimulate your mind and senses at museums, theatre or concerts.
- Use social media to stay in touch with family and friends.
- Live with friends. Co-living reduces feelings of isolation and depression.
Visit Your Health Providers
- Keep up with your regular health checkups for general care, dentist, eye doctor and any specialist you see.
- Get screened for common aging ailments including for cholesterol levels, colon cancer, melanoma, heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive acuity, and sexually transmitted disease. Keep up with your mammogram, hearing and eye tests.
- Know and keep a record of your medical history.
Practice Safe Sex
- Its normal for seniors to enjoy physical intimacy. However, practicing safe sex is important, as the rate of STD transition among seniors is at an all-time high.
Age Well at Green Hill
Quality of life, the support of great friends, and certified caring assistance are as important today at Green Hill as it was for the thirteen founding women in 1866. Today, active older female, male and LGBT residents reside in gracious independent living apartments, enjoy award-winning food service, participate in dozens of clubs and activities, physical fitness and physical therapy programs, have housekeeping and laundry service, and professional support with health and medication management.
Green Hill also provides innovative nursing care in the Green House® Homes and the Legacy building, Memory Care and Sub Acute Rehabilitation. The Green Hill of 2018, located on 23 beautiful acres in West Orange, NJ is all that the founding women of the “Society” dreamed of and more 153 years ago. We honor them during Women’s History Month and are grateful for their vision to serve elders in New Jersey. To learn more about Green Hill, please contact us today.