October 1 is the International Day of Older Persons. This celebratory date inspired us to talk about the health of our elders, because it’s never too late to take preventive action. Ageing may be a natural and inescapable phenomenon over which we have no control, but everyone can adopt healthy habits for healthy ageing.
Here are a few tips to help older people look after themselves:
Eat a balanced and varied diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, and lean proteins. Avoid sugar and salt as much as possible, as well as alcohol and tobacco. Good nutrition helps to prevent or control certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis.
Engage in physical activity suited to your abilities and tastes, for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, as seniors have more time than workers in general… Physical exercise strengthens muscles, bones, and joints, improves balance and coordination, reduces the risk of falls and fractures, promotes blood circulation and heart and lung function, and boosts morale and memory.
Consult your GP or specialist regularly to check your health, stay up to date with vaccinations, discuss any illnesses or complications, and adjust your medication if necessary.
Maintain a social and emotional life by keeping in touch with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and former colleagues. Take part in cultural, recreational, or voluntary activities that provide both pleasure and meaning. Be open to new technologies that facilitate communication and access to information.
Take care of your psychological well-being by expressing your emotions, needs and expectations. Seek support for stress, anxiety, depression, or loneliness. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga. Cultivate positive thoughts and an optimistic attitude towards life.
By following this advice, older people can improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for as long as possible. It’s never too late to take care of your health!
By Roger Lemay