POSITIVE AGEING: FIND MEANING IN OLD AGE… CONTD

An affirmative mindset is essential for positive agers. Elderly who mature as they age develop qualities like insight, astuteness, common sense, shrewdness, wisdom and sagacity. Ageing does not necessarily ensure maturity. People who made the most contributions in their development and the development of others have acquired capacities through maturation. Maturation in old age involves applying existing qualities and skills to address challenges or age-related declines. Such elderly persons become better over time at addressing the issues of life. By way of learning new things or adapting to functional losses, they refine themselves.

 

To meet the age-related declines it is suggested that the elderly should develop the following characteristics :

 

1. Mobilize all possible resources

2. Make affirmative life choices

3. Cultivate flexibility

4. Focus on positives

 

Choose a strategy for managing your changing capacities as you age so that you can contribute to finding well-being and satisfaction in your later years. To improve yourself worth change your lifestyle and old habits.

 

· Do physical exercise regularly

· Eat nutritious and right food

· Try to be free from stresses

· Try new things

Continue reading “POSITIVE AGEING: FIND MEANING IN OLD AGE… CONTD”

FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH PROMOTION & DISEASE PREVENTION

Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Diseases of aging can be prevented through lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet, smoking cessation, appropriate weight maintenance, increased physical activity and stress management. There are certain ways to decrease the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, cancer and stroke, the leading causes of death in the elderly.

Health Promotion activities are those activities in which an individual can proactively engage to improve his or her health. The prevention activities may be classified as primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention.

Primary prevention activities are those designed to completely prevent a disease from occurring such as immunization against pneumonia or influenza.

Secondary preventive efforts are directed toward early detection and management of a disease. For example, colonoscopy to detect small cancerous polyps. Tertiary prevention efforts are used to manage clinical diseases to prevent them from progressing or to avoid complications of the disease.

For example, beta-blockers are used to help remodel the heart in congestive heart failure.

Health Screening:

 Health Screening is a form of secondary prevention. For example screening test for disease like diabetes, which occurs frequently, is beneficial for the early detection of the disease. The screening tests should be relatively non-invasive and acceptable to the patients, cost-effective and available, and highly sensitive and specific. (For screening test it is suggested that you should take advice from the experts.).

Health Promotion Efforts:

A major focus of Health Promotion efforts for the elderly is to minimise the loss of independence associated with illness and functional decline. Multiple chronic illnesses are common in the elderly and cure is often an unrealistic and inappropriate goal. These chronic illnesses can lead to disability and dependency. Maintaining independence in activities of daily living ( ADLs) is an important goal for health-promoting activities.

The family caregivers need to focus on the following areas to promote health and prevent disability in the elderly members of the family.

      1. Physical activity,
      2. Nutrition,
      3. Quit smoking( tobacco use),
      4. Safety (prevention from Falls, and home safety and monitoring balance),
      5. Immunization (Annual flu vaccine, Pneumococcal vaccine)
      6. Depression
      7. Dementia

Self-Management

What can a caregiver do to encourage the elderly family member who is suffering from chronic diseases to adopt health-promoting behaviours and manage their chronic illness?

Five key elements of self-management programmes are:

    1. Problem-solving
    2. Decision making
    3. Resource utilization
    4. Forming a healthcare professional/ client partnership
    5. Taking action.

In the problem-solving phase, the elderly person may identify several barriers to initiating an exercise programme and then list strategies for overcoming each barrier, to arrive at a workable strategy. Decision-making helps the elderly with the information needed to make the decisions they need to be on daily basis.

Note: Indian Gerontological Association, provides a Chronic Disease Self- management programme (CDS MP). The course goal is to teach elderly patients to improve symptoms management, maintain functional ability, and adhere to their medication discipline.

The Self –management course is most effective in smoking cessation. Immunization, physical activity, weight control, arthritis, and diabetes.

(To be continued—-)

ADVICE OF DELANY SISTERS ON MAINTAINING INDEPENDENCE IN OLD AGE

(Miss Sadie Delany, aged 106, and her sister, Dr. Bessie Delany, deceased at 104, had definite rules for living a long and healthy life. Both exercised every single day, whether they felt like it or not. Both always downed chopped garlic and cod liver oil at breakfast and ate at least seven vegetables at lunchtime. The sisters also made a habit of living as stress-free a life as possible. They steadfastly refused to install a telephone, preferring more personal methods of communication. Other strategies for the sisters’ serenity were published in the Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom in 1994).

Bessie and Sadie, the Delany sisters are famous for remaining physically and mentally active into their second century. After they became 101 and 103 years of age respectively, the book on their experiences was a best-seller book, the television shows were very popular. I am quoting some of their pieces of advice, comments and wisdom:

“No matter how old you get, you think of yourself as young. In our dreams, we are always young.”

Sadie Delany

“Most folks think getting older means giving up, not trying anything new. Well, we don’t agree with that. As long as you can see each day as a chance for something new to happen, something you never experienced before, you will stay young—–even after a century of living, we haven’t tried everything. We‘ve only just started.”

Sadie Delany

Continue reading “ADVICE OF DELANY SISTERS ON MAINTAINING INDEPENDENCE IN OLD AGE”

SELF CARE IN LATER PERIOD OF LIFE

Ageing and accompanying health factors often make later part of life a very difficult period of life. Self-care and health promotion are important in maintaining independence in old age. Self-care is the ability to meet one’s needs. It is suggested that maintaining of low risk of disease and disease-related disability, high mental and physical functions and active engagement of life are most essential in the later period of life.

Indeed, the higher functional ability is not necessary for a higher quality of life. The elderly who have chronic disabilities find ways to maximize the quality of life through other means including spirituality and social engagements. Altruism and volunteering in various capacities enhance life satisfaction.

Maintain your Heath and Independence

Significant shifts are evident in both population ageing and the prevalence of non-communicable lifestyle diseases. The impact of such changes on society is becoming dramatic. The growing obesity problems, declining levels of physical activity and increased prevalence of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes are just of few health issues that are requiring immediate attention from the Government and other agencies who are advocating the issues of the elderly. Older adults want to remain healthy and independent at home and society wants to minimize the health care and economic costs associated with an increasingly ageing population.

The most important health problem is the need for a reduction in the morbidity of ageing populations. Prevention is always better than cure. Curative approaches to problems of frail elderly are not likely to have robust effects. Prevention of morbidity associated with ageing represents the central issue for future health, and knowledge of which approaches are best and how they may best be implemented is a prerequisite for successful health policies.

Keeping in view this fact, health promotion and disease prevention activities should be given priority for older adults, their families and the health care system. Several studies have indicated that healthy eating, physical activity, mental stimulation, maintaining a safe environment, social support and regular health care are important in maintaining health and independence.