HOUSTON, June 9 (UPI) — It is never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle, a U.S. cancer expert advises.
Dr. Therese Bevers, medical director of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, says family members can help reduce an aging relative’s risk of cancer by encouraging healthy changes.
“Thanks to modern medicine, more people are living longer, but a longer life doesn’t always equal a healthier one,” Bevers says in statement. “Quitting smoking is the most important thing anyone can do to improve their health.”
Other ways Bevers suggests friends and family can help seniors make healthy changes include:
– Encouraging exercise by educating all-too-often-sedentary seniors about the benefits of physical activity. Suggest a conversation with their doctor about what type of — hopefully enjoyable — activity like gardening, golfing, tennis or swimming they could do.
– Going for a walk together.
– Encouraging seniors to get the nutrients they need to maintain health and lower cancer risks by eating low-fat foods and lots of produce.
– Making extra healthy food at home and sharing with seniors.
– Helping seniors cope with financial stress by setting up bill-paying systems.
– Encouraging regular checkups and screening exams.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.