Published on March 4, 2014
Wellness in Golden Years Dr. V.K. Chopra Director Heart Failure Program Deptt. of Cardioloy Medanta – The Medicity Gurgaon
Keys to high quality life after age 60 • Health • Enough money • A meaningful life We age for decades but it may take less than one year to go old (Heart attack, Stroke, Trauma, Bereavement, Depression)
To stay healthy • • • • Keep you mind sharp Volunteer Eat well Stay in touch with loved ones and friends • Exercise • Stay positive • Look after your health
Keep your mind sharp • The more you exercise it the stronger it will be • Post retirement : most of the stimulus for mental activity gets reduced • Develop new skill or hobby, read
Stay Positive • Aging is as much about psychology as it is about physiology How we think and communicate work, socialize and recreate There are young people in 70’s and old people in 50’s and 40’s Aging process can be slowed down. Convention says grow old gracefully. If that means slowing down then it is better to enjoy life and grow old disgracefully. Try to find something to laugh about and learn to look at brighter sight of things. If severe discouragement or depression appears, seek professional help straight away Learn to relax by yoga and meditation
Stay in touch with your Loved ones and Friends Children leave home and move away, you leave the workforce and relationships you built, friends and loved ones pass away, may make you feel lost or forgotten Stay in touch , use technology (email, face time, telephone)
Volunteer • One of the best ways to give your life meaning and purpose By helping others you can feel greater gratitude for things you have and greater connection to people. Teach, impart skills, help with NGO’s or local community centres
Eat Well • With age digestive system slows down. High fibre diet is recommended Older adults more suspectable to dehydration Make sure the food looks and is appetizing. Share meals with friends
NUTRITION • Choose a variety of healthy food Limit empty calorie (chips, cookies, alcohol, cold drinks) Fresh vegetables and fruits (2 to 3 cups of vegetables) Whole grains as much as possible (150-300 gms) Adequate protein (Tofu, Paneer, Chicken, Fish) 2-3 cups of low fat milk Healthy oil (Olive, sunflower, Mustard, half litre per person per month) Calcium and Vitamin D supplementation Vitamin Supplementation, if recovering from illness and anorexia.
Exercise • With age greater need to exercise regularly to prevent muscle wasting, osteoporosis and many other illnesses. Never too late to start Consult your doctor about the level of activity permitted, especially already have had a problem Indulge in activity that interests you. Many problem associate with aging such as aches, pain and stiffness may be due to inactivity. Pace yourself. Exercise builds stamina, helps your heart and releases stress relieving hormones. Brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, dancing or racquet sports. Light weight resistance exercise, stretching activity and yoga.
Benefits • Improves physical appearance due to weight loss • Extends the life cells in the body. Reduces severity of chronic illnesses, reduces Alzeimer and dementia, reduces the rate of hip fracture.
Exercise Safety Warm up and Cool down Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity Use safety equipments (helmets, knee pads) Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise
Fall prevention One of the biggest challenge as we age. Leading cause of injury related deaths among adults over 65 years and most common cause of hospital admission for trauma. Fracture of hip, wrist, skull, common.
Safety Precaution Stay fit Regular exercise Regular check up for eyes and hearing Use glasses and hearing aid, if prescribed Be aware of side effects of drugs Have enough sleep Limit alcohol Stand up slowly and use of a walking stick or walker, if prescribed
Safety in the house Secure handles in both side of staircase Avoid carrying packets in both hands, when going up and down the stairs Ensure good lighting Avoid clutter at home and sharp corners of furniture Ensure carpets at home don’t slip Proper flooring and foot mats in bathroom, hand support in getting up in bathroom.
Regular Medical Care Regular six monthly to one year check up. Appropriate medications as prescribed by doctor. Don’t ignore side effects of medicines. Regular dental care, eye check up and hearing check.
Look after your health Diabetes and high blood pressure to be under control with regular check and drugs. Don’t ignore cough, breathlessness and diarrhoea. Sudden chest heaviness, dizziness and unexplained weakness – Coronary artery disease / Neurological disorders. Vaccination for Influenza and Pneumococcus, specially for vulnerable people Watch for sudden change of behaviour, drowsiness and lethargy, particularly after fall. Watch for sudden weight loss, abrupt change in bowel habits, loss of appetite, difficulty in swallowing and passing urine.
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