According to the report, “A Tale of Three Cities. The State of Racial Justice in Chicago,” disparities among white, African American, and Latino adults living in Chicago are rooted in historical and institutional practices that have kept minorities behind. In the areas of housing, education, economy, and health. When it comes to population health, outcomes are improving citywide, but racial disparities have been flat or intensifying in leading mortality indicators like heart disease and stroke.
That’s why ACCESS is ready to deliver quality, patient-centered health care in medically underserved communities. We are committed to providing integrated health care services, programming, and resources within and outside the walls of our health centers to help create total health equity for the communities we proudly serve.
Taking Health Care As
We Age With April recognized as National Minority Health Month, we want to offer some helpful reminders about adopting good health practices as we age.
Reevaluate Diet Options
Food is a representation of our culture and lineage. It is enjoyed with families and friends at celebrations and often plays an important role in our physical, mental, and spiritual lives. As we age, many of us find that we can’t eat as we did in our twenties. While you may not have to completely give up the traditional dishes you were raised with, you may need to make small adjustments, such as using less oil or butter, to maintain your health and well-being.
Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods. These diet choices are important factors in maintaining a healthy weight, and good energy levels, and reducing the risk of chronic disease or managing health problems such as diabetes.
Try these nutrient-dense foods:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
- lean meats
In the meantime, try to limit the following:
- High-fat foods (or too much butter used for cooking)
- White bread
- Physical Activity
move! According to the US Library of Medicine, older adults should stay active and should focus on four types of exercise including aerobics, balance, flexibility, and strength training.
If you’re new to exercise or need to find a new routine, follow these tips:
- Take a walk around your neighborhood. Spend quality time with friends or family. Once you feel ready, speed up and do more vigorous exercises.
- Set attainable goals and track your progress along the way.
- Swim or stretch it! Consider water aerobics and yoga. Water aerobics is a low impact on your joints and can help with muscle development, recovery, and cardiovascular health. Yoga is great for flexibility, balance, and muscle strengthening.
Making mental health a priority is crucial to your overall well-being, and for older adults, it’s even more important. As we age, we also go through many difficult experiences, such as the loss of loved ones, health or financial problems, and loneliness.
Some easy self-care tips as we age:
- Get the right amount of sleep.
- Stay in touch with family and friends. This may include receiving a visit or even a quick phone call.
- Join a walking club or social group to make friends and stay active.
- Play card games with friends to see others and keep your mind sharp.
- Get a pet for companionship, love, and loyalty. There are many health advantages to seniors with pets, including lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels compared to people without pets.
- Surround yourself with people you enjoy. Life is too short to be around people who don’t add happiness or value to your daily life.
Access Community Health Network (ACCESS)
ACCESS has the resources to serve older adults in the Chicago area who are facing physical, mental, or emotional challenges. If you have questions about how to improve your daily and long-term life, we’re here to help. Talk to one of our expert doctors and schedule an appointment today.
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