Peter Walsh
As parents and family members transition into old age, organization plays an important role, Peter says. Peter talks with U.S. News and World Report Associate Editor Sarah Baldauf about her article "15 Ways to Take Care of Your Elderly Parents." Plus, anti-aging expert Dr. Michael Roizen, co-author of YOU: Staying Young, talks about simple steps adults can take to improve their health later in life.

The American culture is not particularly wonderful at acknowledging old age, Sarah says, and people should shift the avoidance of aging conversations and acknowledge it to make some proactive steps. "Acknowledge that you're going to take on the caretaker responsibilities," she says. At the same time, recruit other family members to help. "You have to establish some space for yourself because you'll go insane, not only physically, but emotionally and potentially financially."

Peter says organization is a lifelong goal because it is in your early years that you build the foundation for how it is you want to live later in life. And even if you've been unhealthy in the past, Dr. Roizen says that the great news is you get a do-over. "If you change now, within three years, it's as though you've been doing the healthy thing your whole life," he says. "Your cells don't have more than a three-year memory."

Dr. Roizen shares his advice on simple ways that aging adults can work to stay young.

  • Walk 30 minutes. If you need an exercise partner, Dr. Roizen says to get a buddy that you call every night.
  • Take 600 milligrams of DHA. "DHA is the active ingredient in fish oil, but it's vegetarian so there are no contaminants and there's no fishlike taste," Dr. Roizen says. "It doesn't cause an inhibition of clotting so you can take it with aspirin." Another added benefit is that DHA fosters the growth of brain cells.
  • Participate in activities that are intellectually interesting or challenging for your mind. If you find thinking about music challenging, which Dr. Roizen says a lot of people do, go to a concert or listen to music and have a glass of wine.