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October 10, 2021

What senior independent living women over the age of 65 need to know about breast cancer

By: Country Meadows | Senior Living, Wellness

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in older women. According to the National Cancer Institute, a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age.  Residents in senior independent living can take advantage of programs where they live to lead healthier lifestyles, reducing risks for various illnesses including breast cancer.

Senior independent living women should focus on a healthy diet

As we get older, it is critical to eat a healthy diet for several reasons, one being that it helps people reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast cancer. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a healthy eating plan emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy; includes lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Senior independent living communities like Country Meadows employ a team of chefs and nutritional experts to plan healthy menus utilizing many fresh, local ingredients.

Country Meadows’ team of executive chefs works with Vice President of Dining and Culinary Services, Katherine Thomas, RD, LDN, to plan menus for active adult communities. “I develop the menu calculating nutritional content for older adults while using balance, variety and moderation,” she says. “We use fresh ingredients as often as possible and follow diets clinically proven to improve cognition, lower blood pressure and reduce cancer and heart disease.” Resident feedback is regularly solicited and is considered during the menu development process, Thomas adds.

Culinary team members customize delicious meals to meet individual dietary needs and often lead cooking demonstrations to teach senior independent living residents how to make tasty and nutritious meals while providing education on nutrition.

Exercise can help senior independent living women against breast cancer

One of the most important things older adults can do for themselves is participate in regular physical activity at active adult communities. Exercise can prevent many health problems that accompany age while helping maintain strength, mobility and endurance.

A recent study from the National Cancer Institute adds to existing evidence linking physical activity with longer survival in women diagnosed with high-risk breast cancer. The study found that individuals who engaged in regular physical activity before their cancer diagnosis and after treatment were less likely to have their cancer come back or die compared with those who were inactive.

The best retirement communities offer fitness centers and programs to help residents achieve or maintain good health. Over and over, research clearly shows there are many benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle including decreased risk of cancer, obesity, depression and dementia as well as preventing heart disease.

Independent senior living residences at Country Meadows feature on-campus fitness centers led by fitness professionals who lead exercise classes, provide one-on-one personal training and offer private sessions to help older adults find fitness. After all, it’s hard to make excuses for not going to the gym when the fitness center is located in the same building where you live.

How socialization affects women’s health within senior independent living communities

One of the main causes of depression in older adults is isolation and loneliness. Senior independent living communities are lively, vibrant places where neighbors become friends. A primary benefit to living at a senior independent living community is being surrounded by others in the same age group with similar life experiences.

Simply living at a senior independent living community can help greatly reduce depression because of the numerous opportunities available from enjoying a meal with friends, to gathering to play a game of cards or taking a stroll with neighbors.

Many residents at senior independent living communities experience less stress knowing that concerned neighbors and staff are under the same room to offer a helping hand, a listening ear or simply companionship.

Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus location in Frederick, Maryland. Country Meadows is consistently recognized as one of the best retirement communities in the area, offering a variety of services to meet the unique needs of each resident. The services within our senior independent living communities include restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care and assisted living, memory support and independent living. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our independent living communities, please contact us today. Our co-workers can provide details on the services we offer, help you to schedule a tour of our independent senior living communities and answer any other questions you might have.


Country Meadows

3 thoughts on “What senior independent living women over the age of 65 need to know about breast cancer”

  1. Willow Cobram Resort says:

    Impressive! Thanks for sharing this blog.

  2. CW says:

    Senior women who are breast cancer survivors and living in our facilities would be the best advocates for other women to encourage them to get their mammograms. I am a staff member who is in remission, and the senior women who are survivors have been of a great support to me (and to each other).

    1. Country Meadows says:

      Leaning on a community for support and advocacy is so valuable. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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