- Will I wake up every morning when I’m older and be glad that I am alive and feel full of vitality… or will every day feel like a trial to my existence?
- Will I be able to play an active part in bringing up my grandchildren or will I be a burden to my own children?
- Will I gain pleasure out of every moment or will I be confined to a hospital bed?
- Will I be happy with my life or will I wonder what was that all about?
What will your quality of existence be in old age?
So it doesn’t matter what age you are now, the decisions you make in lifestyle choices count! Let’s go over some facts about the aged.
The most prevalent health issue is that old people fall over a lot and the injuries they sustain are either life threatening or are debilitating. As you age or if you are keeping an eye on an older relative, ensure that where they live is safe and uncluttered…so they have less chance of falling over. And as we age we should ensure that we continue to exercise with simple exercises to strengthen our legs and that help maintain balance.
Also understand that nearly all older people are on some sort of medication and all medications have side-effects, including a loss of balance. Take for instance Blood Pressure medications which lower your blood pressure so often when you stand from a seated position you will feel a few moments of dizziness. Some people would say that the side effects of medications will kill you quicker than the initial health problem they are designed for…a point worth considering when making your choice as to whether you will take a drug rather than trying a natural method first?
Exercise is the most important lifestyle choice you need to make if you desire to live longer and have a better quality of life as you age. And exercise can even be done in bed but I would express a strong opinion that you shouldn’t get to that state as you age if you can help it? Make housework part of your exercise regime. Keep mobile. Keep active throughout your day.
Now something that a lot of people do not consider is, as we age our food choices should contain a higher caloric level because we don’t eat as much and our lean body mass drops dramatically. Also our food choices should be easier to digest, so fruits such as bananas and foods such as high fiber unprocessed cereals, cottage cheese, nuts, kephir and beans are good for older people. Of course the diet should contain a variety of foods that cover all our nutritional needs, so have a varied diet. Also older people should ensure that they drink plenty of water (at least a liter a day) as they lose the ability to discern as to whether they are hungry or thirsty. (Quite often an older person will fall over through dehydration).
Allied to this last point, older people lose their senses of smell, taste, sight and hearing and also a lose the motivation to move. But a rapid change of mental attitude maybe due to something as simple as a decrease in Thyroid function so if you see this in an older relative get this checked out as once treated will have an instant positive effect.
Older people also lose the ability to absorb the essential nutrients in foods, particularly Vitamin B12 so a quick blood test and the injected form of this vitamin will have a positive result if they display symptoms such as dizziness, lower cognitive function and aggressiveness due to the lack of this nutrient.
As far as cognitive function is concerned, it is a scientific fact that people will live at least five years longer and have a far better quality of life if they learn another language, they are socially connected and display an interest in the world around them as they age.
These are simple problems of the aged that have simple solutions. Don’t make life more complex but far more interesting as you age, after all life is about journeys not destinations.