Are you overwhelmed seeing your elderly parents?
Do they have mobility issues or medical conditions?
Do you think life could have been better for them?
Statistics suggest that India will have 330 million individuals aged 60 years and above by 2050, accounting for 18% of our total population. Medical professionals suggest that people who had good healthy habits when they were younger tend to become healthy seniors, but it is never too late. Good health habits can make a difference even to seniors who are prone to illness or have not made their health a priority in the past. Here are some insightful details to help navigate senior health.
Healthy living tips for seniors
Your health tends to deteriorate as your age. However, with a positive attitude, better lifestyle choices and a healthy diet can help slow down the aging process and live better. Do share these healthy living tips with your parents and senior loved ones:
- Be active more often
Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. It also means that you will be healthier in your later years and will be less likely to develop dementia and other cognitive changes.
- Improve your diet
A healthy and balanced diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and protein, and low in meat, sugar, and processed foods helps your cells function better and slows down aging.
- Get quality sleep
Sleep deprivation affects your memory, emotions, weight, and even your appearance. The older you get, the harder it can be to fall and stay asleep, but you still need the same amount of hours. Speak to your doctor for any sleep disorders.
- Stop smoking
Research suggests that quitting smoking reduces your risk of getting a heart attack and other chronic diseases. The earlier you quit, the better it is as smoking cessation decreases the risk of middle-aged smokers dying by almost half.
- Focus on prevention
Annual health checkups, cancer screenings, as well as screenings for diseases that run in the family must form a part of healthcare for the elderly. Seniors must consult their doctors from time to time and review their medications.
- Care for your mental health
Loneliness, particularly at this age, can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. Spend time socialising with family and friends, even if it means interacting virtually. Aside from that, doing crossword puzzles, sudoku, reading a book, and trying new hobbies all help to stimulate your mind and improve your mental health.
- Screen for vision changes
Seniors who wear glasses should have their prescriptions checked for changes and their eyes screened for health issues once a year. Their risk of accidental falls can be reduced considerably by wearing the proper glasses.
- Be regular with dental checkups
As you age dental cavities, as well as gum infections, may increase. These may be linked to serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Exercise tips for seniors
Irrespective of your age and physical condition, it’s never too late to start exercising and get fit. People tend to slow down and become more sedentary with age. You may feel discouraged by health problems, aches, and pains, or concerns about injuries or falls. As you grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever before. Here are some health benefits of exercise:
- Maintain or lose weight – As your metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight can become a challenge. Regular exercise helps increase your metabolism and build muscle mass, helping your body to burn more calories.
- Reduce the impact of illness – People who exercise tend to have improved immune system, better digestion, reduced risk of heart disease, controlled blood pressure, and better bone health.
- Enhance your flexibility, and balance – Exercise improves your strength, flexibility, and posture, which in turn can help with your balance and coordination, and reduce your risk of falls.
- Improves your sleep – Quality sleep is vital for your overall health as you get older. Regular activity can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and wake up feeling more energetic and refreshed.
- Boost your mood and self-confidence – Exercise is a great stress reliever, and the endorphins released can help reduce feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety. Being active and strong can also help you feel more confident.
Here are some ways to make your fitness routine fun and keep yourself motivated:
- Use guided meditation.
- Listen to music while exercising.
- Meet a friend for a walk.
- Walk or play fetch with a dog.
- Play with your grandchildren.
- Find an exercise buddy for daily workouts.
Always listen to your body and never over-exert yourself. Stop exercising immediately if you experience discomfort, pain, feel dizzy or short of breath. Start slowly and build up your exercise program little by little. Prevent injury and discomfort by warming up, cooling down, and keeping water handy.
Following a healthy lifestyle, investing in preventive healthcare, staying active and access to prompt medical attention can help you lead a happy and healthy life in your yesteryears. Doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital are available to attend to all your medical concerns with utmost care and expertise. For further information, please visit: