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Thursday, 07 June 2012 09:15

Healthy Ageing- for Living Life to the Fullest Featured

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Ageing is a part of human life which is unavoidable and associated with various health issues. However, becoming smart about simple things makes your old age free from health problems and more enjoyable.

happy_presbyopia_ladyAgeing is the reality of life, and all living things have to face it. In human, ageing is marked with physical, psychological and social changes.Each and every organ of the body notices ill-effects of ageing. Additionally poor nutrition, lack of exercise, dependency due to physical disabilities, social isolation and financial insecurities all contribute for development of wide range of medical problems or may worsen the existing one during old age.

National Ageing Research Institute has outlined tips to meet the challenge of health problems of older people in order to achieve healthy ageing.

  • Eating nutritious

Malnutrition either over nutrition or under nutrition is a very common, as you age. This can result in overweight and underweight problem respectively. Sedentary lifestyle, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, chronic diseases and use of medicines all worsen the nutritional status during later years of life.

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To stay healthy nutritious diet plays major role, so eat nutritious food such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole-grains, milk and milk products, meat, fish and poultry.
Maintain body hydration by drinking lot of water and fruit juices.

Limit the amount of sugar and salt and restrict the intake of saturated fat from animal products, cheese, butter and ghee.
Avoid alcohol and smoking, as it interferes with absorption of nutrients from food and also hampers the digestion.

  • Staying active

Staying active with regular exercises imparts a lot’s of health and fitness benefits. A 30 minute of moderate intensity activity such as walking, jogging or swimming improve fitness, stamina, strength, balance and flexibility of a body.

Don’t forget to follow safety measures such as starting with easily doable level and gradually working up the required level, warming before and cooling down after exercise, and drinking water to keep hydration.

  • Enjoying good night sleep

In old age, you may experience poor-quality sleep, difficulty in falling asleep, and frequent wake-up. This leads to increased daytime sleepiness, poor attention, and depression and memory problems.

Develop a bedtime schedule of going bed and waking up at the same time.
Avoid frequent napping during a day and for that always keep you busy in reading, writing or exercising.
Stay away from caffeine and smoke especially after evening as both acts as a stimulant.
Before sleeping switch off lights, T.V. or P.C that causes distraction from getting sleep.
Use comfortable mattress, which should not be too hard or too soft.
Try relaxation techniques like meditation before sleeping and reduce the use of habit-forming sleeping pills.

  • Avoiding falls

Falling is common during old age. Falling is attributed to poor balancing, diminished vision, joint pain of arthritis, dizziness, too high or too low blood pressure, and use of medication like sleeping pills.

In order to prevent the frequent fall do regular exercise to improve balance, stamina and strength.
Learn Tai chi or similar balancing exercise that improves balance and posture while making you more stable.

Check your eyes every two years to correct vision problems.

If needed, do not hesitate to use walking aids like sticks or frames. Your safety is more important.
Wear comfortable, tight-fitting, flat shoes with appropriate grip.

Check for the dry and non-slippery floor especially while visiting washroom.
Ensure enough light in walking area and avoid direct glare.
Sit on a chair so that feet directly touch the floor.
Adjust bed height so that you can get on and off easily.
Keep your objects within a reach in wardrobe as well as in a kitchen.

  • Dealing with depression

Depression is major but controllable issues in later age of life. Health problems and dependency on others make you feel depressed.

Maintaining daily routine, keeping yourself busy in work, adopting enjoyable hobby, increasing social interaction, asking family support, getting enough sleep, doing exercise and relaxation are some of the ways for overcoming depression problem.

If the problem is severe and interfere with daily life consult your doctor who can guide with medication and counselling.
Try to visit Park or senior citizen club, meet people of your age and make new friends.
Enjoy playing with your grand children if possible.
The best way to bit depression is making yourself busy by indulging in the hobby that you loved the most.

  • Coping with memory loss

Physiological changes inside the body as you grow old may be a prime suspect to disturb the brain function and result in memory loss.

Slight memory loss such as forgetting objects, names of persons, appointments and difficulty in remembering the events or points of conversation are commonly seen in old people.
Such forgetfulness can be tackled with keeping diary or notebook on which you can write down important things. You can use mobile phones to note down important dates, appointments or events.

When you or your family notice serious changes in your memory such as difficulty in dressing or paying bills, getting lost in familiar places and forgetting worlds consult your doctor. These can be alarming signs of Alzheimer’s.

  • Practicing safe use of medicine

Medicinal use is wide in old age to address a host of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or joint pain. Incorrect use of medicine is one of the causes for high rate of hospitalization among old people. Hence practicing safe use of medicine is good to avoid inconveniences.

Always follow prescription and don’t try your own or other’s medicine for minor illness also.
Don’t hide anything from your doctor. Tell them all about past medical issues, medications you are taking including vitamin supplements and history of drug allergies.
Don’t take extra dose or larger dose. 
Never mix with alcoholic drinks due to an expectation of bad consequences.

  • Performing overall health assessment

Once in a year total Health check up is required when you are growing old, to identify health issues and psychological disturbances. This helps to tackle with them before unforeseen consequences take place.
Health Check up-assessment includes your total medical examination by doctor to notice risk for diseases, fitness level and mental well-being.

Active Ageing…
World Health Organization (WHO) has assumed the term “active ageing," an important concept that helps to improve the quality of life, particularly during old age.
 “Active ageing “signifies the utilization of opportunities related to health, participation in society and achieving security in order to accomplish physical, social and mental well-being. So it will take care of both health and right of older people.

Have a healthy and active ageing…

"The value of life is not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a man may live long yet very little."
-Michel de Montaigne

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Read 4054 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 June 2012 10:41

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