As we get older our bodies and minds may fail us and faculties begin to slow down. These changes result in varying degrees of losses of efficiency and function. Several factors such as genetics, illnesses, socioeconomics and lifestyle, determine the ageing progress in an individual. The late adulthood stage of post 60 years is also known as the golden years of your life. Growing older means confronting many psychological, emotional, and social issues that come with entering the senior years. Although your body is in a degenerative mode, staying active and involved in life can help to counteract many of the common challenges in this phase of life.
Common issues post 60:
Chronic aches, pains, and body stiffness due to spine and joint degeneration
Decrease in physical activity accelerates Sarcopenia which is age related. It constitutes loss of muscle mass, strength and function.
Worsening of posture and shrinkage of height
Some people shrink at greater rates than others due to osteoporosis and spinal degeneration, which is the loss of spinal disc height and joint cushioning
Diminishing eyesight and hearing for many
Shortness of breath in people suffering from high cholesterol or high blood pressure
Urinary incontinence due to the gradual wear and tear of muscles and connective tissue affecting the tissue of the pelvic floor
Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious health problems including heart issues, respiratory infections, dementia, cancer and more
Formation and retrieval of memories often deteriorates with age
Depression can also be a common problem for older adults struggling with illness or those who need caregiving and are socially isolated
Loneliness can have detrimental effects on health, psychological well-being and immunity levels
Nutritional & Lifestyle Guidelines post 60:
Nutrition is one of the most important elements for maintaining health and well-being at any age.
Make whole foods the foundation of your nutrition plan and eat the right portion size for you. This will help avoid a lot of common problems that come with age.
Exercise is a great way to maintain bone & muscle health and proper posture.
Eat enough protein to reduce the impact of muscle wasting.
To maintain proper balance in old age try and include some balance exercises. For example, Yoga or simply standing on one leg at a time for 30 seconds with eyes open.
Keep yourself properly hydrated at all times.
Practise good oral hygiene as part of all the other personal hygiene requirements.
Keep your blood pressure under control.
Get routine checkups and tests done to ensure there are no developing medical issues or deficiencies. Timely consultations can prevent as well as rectify medical issues, if any.
Maintain brain health by learning something new or pursuing positive social and purposeful activities.
Mentally challenging activities can help with neuroplasticity thereby improving cognitive abilities.
Continue activities that are comfortable and bring pleasure.
Staying active and involved in life counteracts loneliness and helps increase feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.
Keep and maintain good social connections.
Improve your sleep habits by simple breathing techniques and shutting off all electronic devices before bedtime.
Your body changes as you age. Good lifestyle, habits, and daily activities have a huge impact on the health of your body as well as your brain. So ensure you are eating right and staying physically active (with moderate exercise) and mentally active (pursuing a hobby, learning a new skill, volunteering or mentoring) to keep your mind sharp.
Old age is just the start of a new age, let's enjoy it!