While aging is often associated with a deterioration in health, it’s also important to note that improvements in healthcare and technological progress have made aging better. Understanding the needs of the elderly has emerged as crucial. The vast percentage of the population comprises those above 65 years. This number is expected to reach 1.5 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations World Population Aging report. This makes it imperative to understand the importance of healthy aging. Here are five things you must keep in mind.
Nutrition is key
Although this seems obvious, it’s startling how most people take this for granted. Close to 20-30 percent of the senior citizen population has anorexia. Appetite reduces as one ages. Compounded by co-existing dental or gastrointestinal issues, it results in low caloric intake and an increase in nutritional deficiencies. By eating small, regular and balanced meals, these complications can be avoided.
Exercise is non-negotiable
Choose any exercise module you like but do get started. Getting it 75-150 minutes a week is good. Even moderate intensity is alright. When you build your stamina, you can go harder on this front. Do include some strengthening moves. Walking is good but try and take up a sport instead.
Sleep keeps you sane
Physiologically speaking, sleep is restorative. It rejuvenates you. Difficulty falling asleep, waking up tired, irritability during the day or difficulty staying awake could indicate an underlying sleep problem. Maintain a good sleep hygiene to minimise all this.
Remain socially engaged
Widen your network of friends as you grow older. Evidence from longitudinal research studies and clinical trials have shown that remaining engaged in enriching activities and socialising often not only improves mental health but delays age-related brain changes.
Physical and cognitive checks
Many adults I know avoid this out of fear. Others don’t get it done due to logistical challenges. However, regular physical and mental checkups are key to ageing well.
These tips may seem simple but they’re equally effective. Keep them in mind.
The author is the co-founder and project director of Samvedna Senior Care, New Delhi