Find Community

Health Tips for Women

Your health is important at every age, but some things are different for senior men and women


Aging used to be thought of as something that just happened and couldn’t be changed. Physical, social and cognitive decline were all part of normal aging. We now know it doesn’t have to be that way. Today seniors are practicing what’s known as healthy aging, which is characterized as a low risk of disease and disability, high cognitive and physical function, and being actively engaged in life. Regardless of the new thinking around aging, women continue to live longer than men. And to ensure senior women enjoy more active and fulfilling lives at any age and every stage, this blog post will focus on health tips for senior women as part of a multifaceted approach to wellness.

11 Keys to Healthy Aging for Senior Women

Maintaining your good health is about the little things you do over time. If some of these health tips for senior women seem overwhelming, pick a few you can start today, and then add some of the others as you go. You’re sure to be feeling better in no time, and the impact they make in the long run is what healthy aging is all about. 

1. Screen time

Even if you feel perfectly healthy, you should see your health care provider at least once a year and have tests and health screenings periodically done, including:

  • Check every year: Blood pressure, hearing and vision, dental checkup, and mammogram screening for breast cancer.
  • Check every two years: Bone health — Ask your health care provider about your risk for osteoporosis and their recommendations for screening and possible therapy.
  • Check every three years: Diabetes —  If you have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol levels, or diabetes runs in your family; and pap exam (more often if you’re at high risk).
  • Consult with your physician how often: Cholesterol — frequency depends on your age and general health, and screening for colorectal cancer.

2. Exercise body and mind

About two and a half hours of moderate physical activity a week is important for stress reduction and could help improve your mood as well as help manage diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. You should also consider challenging your brain by trying new things — like joining a book club; taking a class; learning an instrument; or doing word, number and  jigsaw puzzles. 

3. Understand your mental health

If feelings of sadness begin to interfere with your daily life and normal functioning, you may be experiencing depression. If so, speak with your doctor to determine what next steps are right for you.

4. You are what you eat

As you get older, you lose muscle mass and bone density, and you burn fewer calories. That’s why eating healthy — including high-nutrient foods — is so important. It takes extra effort to make up for the natural changes of your body. Experts recommend: 

  • Five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, including spinach, collard greens, carrots, oranges and cantaloupe.
  • Fiber-rich whole grain bread, rice and pasta. 
  • Two weekly servings of heart-healthy fish like tuna or salmon.
  • Two daily servings of low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese are good sources of calcium and Vitamin D to help keep your bones strong
  • Use healthier fats like olive and canola oils for cooking instead of butter or lard.

5. Know what you’re taking

When you visit your doctor, bring a list of all the medicines, vitamins, herbs and supplements you take. They can check to make sure they’re safe for you. Always check with them before taking any new pills, and tell your doctor right away if a medication or other pill seems to be causing any problems or side effects.

6. Get vaccinated

Some potential health problems are avoidable all together. That’s why you should get a flu shot every year, a tetanus shot every 10 years, and the shingles vaccine after age 60. You should also ask your doctor if and when to get vaccinated against pneumonia.

7. Avoid falls and fractures

In addition to keeping your bones strong by eating a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D, do weight-bearing, bone-building exercises such as walking and jogging. If you’ve fallen in the past, ask your doctor about strength training and balance, flexibility and stretching exercises.

8. Use sunscreen

Aging skin is more susceptible to sun damage, which increases the risk of skin cancer. Use sunscreen all year round and, for added protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat.

9. No smoking

If you smoke, your health care provider can help you stop. 

10. Moderate drinking

It’s recommended senior women should have no more than three drinks a day or seven total in a week. A drink is considered 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. You may not want to drink at all if you have health problems or take certain medications.

11. Get in touch with your emotional wellness

Your mind-body connection can impact your physical health. This includes how you handle change and the way you see yourself and the world around you.

Having a supportive community matters.

We hope these healthy aging tips have given you some ideas of things you can do to live a happier, healthier life. You can find more “How to Keep Your Body Healthy as You Age” ideas here

We believe another big lifestyle difference-maker is finding a community of people who are working toward goals that are similar to yours. To find a community of active, like-minded seniors in your area, use our Find a Community tool.

Where You Live Matters is powered by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), a respected voice in the senior housing industry. ASHA primarily focuses on legislative and regulatory advocacy, research, and educational opportunities and networking for senior living executives, so they can better understand the needs of older adults across the country.