September is Healthy Aging Month—for Americans of all ages. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion bases its Healthy Aging campaign on the following research-based ideas:
- Healthy aging begins early in life.
- Improving older adult health and well-being impacts all of society and individuals of all ages.
- Health disparities that are experienced earlier in life are often made worse later in life.
Experts say that misconceptions about aging can hinder the way we care for our health as we grow older. For example, contrary to popular belief, depression and isolation is just as treatable for older adults as it is for younger populations. Another aging-related myth is that only women need to worry about osteoporosis. Though osteoporosis is more common in women (due to the fact that men start with higher bone density than women), one in five men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. By age 65 or 70, men and women lose bone mass at the same rate. This is important for the spondyloarthritis community to keep in mind, given that people with SpA have a high prevalence of osteoporosis and fractures.
Fortunately, diet and nutrition, exercise, and mental health awareness are all important aspects of taking care of yourself today to ensure better health tomorrow. For people living with spondyloarthritis, these factors are particularly critical to ensuring a higher quality of life. This month and always, SAA supports the physical, mental, and emotional health of people of all ages.
- About Aging – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- 10 Myths About Aging – National Institute on Aging
- Mental and Emotional Health – Spondylitis Association of America
- A Contemporary View of the Diagnosis of Osteoporosis in Patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis
- Possible Complications: How Is a Person Affected? – Spondylitis Association of America