Changes Faced at 65+

You reach a lot of milestones once you hit 65; you’re eligible for retirement and Medicare, you may have your first grandkids, and you can start taking advantage of senior citizen discounts at some of your favorite places.

Some of the changes we face at age 65 and older are both physical and cognitive. What can you expect to experience in your golden years, and how can your choices make the changes less of a shock?

What to Expect in Your 60s

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry collected data in 2016 that showed people out of their 30s experience less stress. So a positive of being in your 60s is not having the same grueling schedule you did in the early years of your schooling, career, and family life.

Changes in Metabolism

Unfortunately, with each passing year, our metabolism slows down. The body’s ability to process what we eat and convert it into energy isn’t as efficient as it was in our 20s. 

Ways to Aid Metabolism

  • Increase how much fiber you consume daily. 

  • Supplement your diet with Vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Get Vitamin D from foods and natural sunlight if possible. It helps support calcium absorption and can improve mood.

  • Calcium helps strengthen bones, so adding it into your diet is crucial in your 60s.

Loss of Motor Skills

If you deviate from your normal exercise routine in your later years, it can be harder to pick them back up due to loss of fine or gross motor skills. Don’t let your age slow you down and prevent you from sticking with your running routine, your pickleball league, or your favorite fitness class at the gym. 

Cognitive Shifts

It’s normal to experience changes in brain function as you age. Not all are reasons to worry, as lapses in memory aren’t necessarily signs of bigger problems to come. In the golden years, it may be time to slow down because multi-tasking is no longer your forte and your reflexes slow slightly. If issues with cognitive function persist and interfere with daily life, it may be time to explore the cause to rule out more serious causes.


Did you know sleep troubles may become more common as you age? It may be related to having less on your daily schedule than you did when you were working full time, raising a family, going to school, etc… Or, it may be due to a hormonal imbalance developed with age.

To ensure you’re getting enough sleep each night, talk with your doctor about your symptoms to see if you can identify the cause. You may benefit from homeopathic remedies, changes to your daily routine, or medication. Sometimes something simple, like more exposure to natural light first thing in the morning, can help you sleep better at night.

Cardiovascular Changes

No matter how healthy your diet, and how active you remain in your 60s, you may experience some changes to the structure of your cardiovascular system. The blood vessels and arteries can stiffen, and it can be harder for your heart to pump blood through your system than before. This is why high blood pressure is common among retirees.

Promoting Heart Health

Incorporating regular exercise into your daily life can promote good heart health. Combined with your diet choices, sleep habits, and stress management techniques, you can help your heart pump efficiently without increasing blood pressure.

Loss of Bone and Muscle Density

Over time, bone density naturally decreases. If you’re not maintaining an active lifestyle, muscles can shrink and weaken as well. This means people over 65 are often more susceptible to fractures and breaks since the loss of muscle strength can lead to poor balance and coordination.

Improving Bone and Muscle Mass

The Mayo Clinic has diet suggestions for improving bone density, many of which are a callback to helping improve metabolism as well. To strengthen bones, include calcium, vitamin D, protein, and exercise in your daily life. When the body doesn’t have all the nutrients it needs, it turns to the body’s fat reserves, muscles, and, eventually, bones for fuel. 

You can also improve bone and muscle mass with “good stress” on your body. This includes weight training, resistance exercises, and yoga. 

Weaker Immune System

You not only bruise more easily as you age, but you’re more vulnerable to illness as well. Reduced production of B and T cells in the body can weaken the immune system’s ability to fight infection. You may be able to boost your immune system with antioxidants, routine vaccinations against disease, and healthy practices such as eating a well-rounded diet, getting enough sleep, increasing daily vitamin and mineral intake, and washing hands regularly. 

Changes in Appearance

Muscles don’t just offer stability for our joints and bones, but for our skin as well. As we age and lose elasticity, it manifests as wrinkles and sags in our skin. This can make eyebrows appear droopy, and result in significant changes to the jawline. The loss of fat under the skin can make the face appear hollow, and lack of moisture retention can give the skin a crepey look.

Preventative, temporary procedures such as fillers and botox in younger years can ward off the onset of wrinkles and lack of definition in the cheeks or around the eyes. If changes to diet, exercise, and sleep habits don’t make the desired improvements to your skin, you could consider more permanent remedies such as plastic surgery.

To help with papery skin, age spots, and dryness, consider revamping your self-care routine to incorporate hyaluronic-based products with sunscreen. And, of course, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as those can increase the physical appearance of aging over time.

Aging doesn’t have to come with so many unknowns; start preparing now to accept changes as they come, and you can continue to enjoy a life full of meaningful relationships, activities, and good health. Prevention is probably your best tool when it comes to transitioning into a new stage of life, so take steps now to mentally prepare yourself for whatever comes your way.

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