Part 9- General Management of Old Age

Broadly speaking old age care can be divided into 10 cares. These can be as follows:

1.) Nutrition Care

A balanced diet must be given to people aged above 50 years. This should have adequate proteins, low fats and plenty of fruits and vegetables. With ageing, the activity becomes lower and the extra fats not only increase the weight but also lead to Coronary Blockages. Fruits and vegetables give us fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They also help in weight loss and prevent constipation.

2.) Exercise advise

The exercises should be directed towards improving fitness and flexibility. Some exercises should also be directed to improving muscle mass. A walk of 35 minutes in a brisk pace, 20 minutes of flexibility exercises based on Yoga (SAAOL Heart Exercises) and some light gym exercises can be done regularly.

3.) Mental health support and improvement

A matching spouse is the best mental support for ageing people. People should have a good harmony with spouse based on understanding, trust, and good communication skill. Friends, colleagues, relatives can also add up support in the aspect. Hobbies, different from your field or profession and multiple interests also leads to pleasure and satisfaction – giving mental support and happiness.

4.) Heart care

Heart care also includes walking, exercises, stress management, yoga, regular checkup of lipids, and control of other risk factors. Intake of medicines – if any should be regularly taken to control lipids, blood pressure, or diabetes.

5.) Prevention and care of illness

Some illness may have already come up before the age of 50 – 60 years. Do not ignore them. If the eyes are giving trouble, go for check-up and take remedial measures. Dental problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, obesity should be controlled and care must be assured. One must take prompt care of any respiratory infection in aged people.

6.) Habit changes

Smoking and tobacco consumption must be given up. Intake of alcohol or other addictive items must be avoided. Sweets, fried items, meat intake should be curtailed as you age. Walking, yoga, meditation should be made a regular habit.

7.) Avoid injury

Lack of reflexes and flexibility are common in old age, vision is also less. Thus, the possibility of injury is very common. Fracture of neck femur, spine, wrist joint, and head injury can take its toll at any age after 60 years. Barrier-free house, less stair climbing, railings in the bathroom for holding, non-slipping tiles in the bathroom, adequate lighting, and physical help of family members/servants while travelling can save many people from injuries.

8.) Periodic evaluation

Aged people must go for checkup and evaluation by a competent and compassionate physician. Blood tests, regular blood pressure checkups should be conducted according to the advice of physicians on a priority basis.

9.) Management of life, behaviour

Life management and behaviour modification make a huge difference in old age. Life management would mean financial security and medical cover. Keep a regular income so that you are not dependent on anyone for money. You should also plan a reserve for sudden and unplanned expenditure. The wealth that you have should be easily disposable. An early planning in this aspect is recommended. You should have some money to give gifts to others – so that your support system is created. In behaviour front, change your criticism habit to an appreciation habit. Do not complain and try to be accommodative. Be positive and avoid negative attitude. Start accepting other’s faults. Do not demand thing

10.) Enjoyment of ageing

After a certain age, you need to relax and trim your busy life. Enjoy newspapers, TV programs, music, and company of aged people. You should be happy if your major duties are over. Do not compete with others but enjoy what have. Enjoy company of spouse; make comfortable holiday trips if you have resources. Get engaged in your hobbies. Some health problems will be there – start living with them. Age gracefully.