Tips for ageing healthily


Professor Julie Byles is an expert on ageing healthily – she’s full of tips and tricks to help make life that little bit easier as the years pass by.

In fact, Professor Byles and colleague of 25 years, Professor Kichu Nair, have been on the forefront of change for seniors within the Australian health system.

They played a significant role in introducing the over-75 health assessment, which has been taken up by GP’s nationwide.

Tonight, the duo will present a community seminar on the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)’s Facebook page on healthy ageing and planning for a long and active life.

“I hope people take away from it the idea that you can look towards older age with a positive attitude with a view to the future,” Professor Byles said.

The key, she said, is to identify things that may be becoming challenging, and to seek help with those tasks.

“When you are older and need help it’s important that you accept that help,” she said.

“A lot of older people think they don’t want to be a burden, so they muddle on, or just won’t do it, instead, they should think: ‘There’s things I want to do and I’m going to get help to do the things that matter most to me.'”

Professor Byles has compiled her own list of things seniors should be considering to promote a healthy lifestyle, and they all revolve around mind, mobility, multimorbidity (having many diseases) and medication.

“These are the things that matter most, in making sure you’re meeting your goals for what’s important in life,” she said.

Her list includes:

  • Healthy eating – maitaining protein and calorie intake to make sure you don’t lose muscle.

    “If you don’t have enough, you can chew up your muscle and we don’t want that, so healthy eating is really important and a healthy weight,” she said.

    “Not being too thin is not good when you’re older it doesn’t give you any reserve you need that muscle to stay on your feet.”
  • Food safety – Washing vegetables and not leaving things in the fridge too long.
  • Hydration – “A lot of people forget to drink, so drink plenty of water as this might cause problems with low blood pressure.”
  • Taking care of your teeth –  Got to keep in good condition because problems can cause pain.
  • Limiting alcohol; 
  • Don’t smoke;
  • Get plenty of exercise;
  • Keep active socially and mentally – Active bodies, brains and social life;
  • Managing your medication – aim to prevent problems like blood pressure, which can stop you from having a stroke;
  • Driving – This is very important to older people – if you want to keep driving, you have to keep at it.

    The Facebook live event goes from 6pm to 7pm tonight. You can register here.